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Full text of "The celebrity; an episode"

3 1210016569590 




THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 

OF CALIFORNIA 

RIVERSIDE 



MACMILLAN'S STANDARD LIBRARY 



THE CELEBRITY 



THE CELEBRITY 



AN EPISODE 



BY 

WINSTON CHURCHILL 



NEW YORK 

GROSSET & DUNLAP 
PUBLISHERS 



COPVRIGHT, 1897, 

BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY. 



Set up and electrotyped January, 1898. Reprinted, March, 
twice, May, July, August, September, October, 1898; June, 1899. 
Special edition, August, September, 1899. Regular edition, Sep. 
tember, October, 1899 ; March, 1900. Special edition, October, 
1900; January, February, October, twice, 1901 5 July, 1905; July, 
iyo.v, October, 1904 ; June, 1905 ; March, October, 1906; March, 
June, 1907 ; March, June, October, 1908; March, 1909; May, 1910; 
April, 1911 ; March, 1912. . 



TO 

Albert grtjato, 

WITH THE AFFECTIONATE REGARDS OF 
THE AUTHOR 



THE CELEBRITY 



CHAPTER I 

I WAS about to say that I had known the 
Celebrity from the time he wore kilts. But I 
see I shall have to amend that, because he was 
not a celebrity then, nor, indeed, did he achieve 
fame until some time after I had left New York 
for the West. In the old days, to my common 
place and unobserving mind, he gave no evi 
dences of genius whatsoever. He never read 
me any of his manuscripts, which I can safely 
say he would have .done had he written any at 
that time, and therefore my lack of detection of 
his promise may in some degree be pardoned. 
But he had then none of the oddities and man 
nerisms which I hold to be inseparable from 
genius, and which struck my attention in after 
days when I came in contact with the Celebrity. 
Hence I am constrained to the belief that^his 
eccentricity must have arrived with his genius, 



2 The Celebrity 

and both after the age of twenty-five. Far be 
it from me to question the talents of one upon 
whose head has been set the laurel of fame ! 

When I knew him he was a young man with 
out frills or foibles, with an excellent head for 
business. He was starting in to practise law in 
a downtown office with the intention of becom 
ing a great corporation lawyer. He used to 
drop into my chambers once in a while to smoke, 
and was first-rate company. When I gave a 
dinner there was generally a cover laid for him. 
I liked the man for his own sake, and even had 
he promised to turn out a celebrity it would 
have had no weight with me. I look upon 
notoriety with the same indifference as on the 
buttons on a man's shirt-front, or the crest on 
his note-paper. 

When I went West, he fell out of my life. 
I probably should not have given him another 
thought had I not caught sight of his name, in 
old capitals, on a daintily covered volume in a 
book-stand. I had little time or inclination for 
reading fiction ; my days were busy ones, and 
my nights were spent with law books. But I 
bought the volume out of curiosity, wondering 
the while whether he could have written it I 



The Celebrity 3 

was soon set at rest, for the dedication was to a 
young woman of whom I had often heard him 
speak. The volume was a collection of short 
stories. On these I did not feel myself compe 
tent to sit in judgment, for my personal taste in 
fiction, if I could be said to have had any, took 
another turn. The stories dealt mainly with 
the affairs of aristocratic young men and aristo 
cratic young women, and were differentiated to 
fit situations only met with in that society which 
does not have to send descriptions of its func 
tions to the newspapers. The stories did not 
seem to me to touch life. They were plainly 
intended to have a bracing moral effect, and 
perhaps had this result for the people at whom 
they were aimed. They left with me the im 
pression of a well-delivered stereopticon lecture, 
with characters about as life-like as the shadows 
on the screen, and whisking on and off, at the 
mercy of the operator. Their charm to me lay 
in the manner of the telling, the style, which 
I am forced to admit was delightful. 

But the book I had bought was a success, 
a great success, if the newspapers and the re 
ports of the sales were to be trusted. I read 
the criticisms out of curiosity more than any 



4 The Celebrity 

other prompting, and no two of them were 
alike : they veered from extreme negative to 
extreme positive. I have to confess that it 
gratified me not a little to find the negatives 
for the most part of my poor way of thinking. 
The positives, on the other hand, declared the 
gifted young author to have found a manner 
of treatment of social life entirely new. Other 
critics still insisted it was social ridicule : but 
if this were so, the satire was too delicate for 
ordinary detection. 

However, with the dainty volume my quon 
dam friend sprang into fame. At the same 
time he cast off the chrysalis of a commonplace 
existence. He at once became the hero of the 
young women of the country from Portland, 
Maine, to Portland, Oregon, many of whom 
wrote him letters and asked him for his photo 
graph. He was asked to tell what he really 
meant by the vague endings of this or that 
story. And then I began to hear rumors that 
his head was turning. These I discredited, of 
course. If true, I thought it but another proof 
of the undermining influence of feminine flat 
tery, which few men, and fewer young men, can 
stand. But I watched his career with interest. 



The Celebrity 5 

He published other books, of a high moral tone 
and unapproachable principle, which I read 
carefully for some ray of human weakness, for 
some stroke of nature untrammelled by the 
calling code of polite society. But in vain. 



CHAPTER II 

IT was by a mere accident that I went West, 
some years ago, and settled in an active and 
thriving town near one of the Great Lakes. 
The air and bustle and smack of life about the 
place attracted me, and I rented an office and 
continued to read law, from force of habit, I 
suppose. My experience in the service of one 
of the most prominent of New York lawyers 
stood me in good stead, and gradually, in addi 
tion to a heterogeneous business of mines and 
lumber, I began to pick up a few clients. But 
in all probability I should be still pegging away 
at mines and lumber, and drawing up occasional 
leases and contracts, had it not been for Mr. 
Farquhar Fenelon Cooke, of Philadelphia. Al 
though it has been specifically written that 
promotion to a young man comes neither from 
the East nor the West, nor yet from the South, 
Mr. Cooke arrived from the East, and in the 
nick of time for me. 

I was indebted to Farrar for Mr. Cooke's 
6 



The Celebrity 7 

acquaintance, and this obligation I have since 
in vain endeavored to repay. Farrar's profes 
sion was forestry: a graduate of an eastern 
college, he had gone abroad to study, and had 
roughed it with the skilled woodsmen of the 
black forest. Mr. Cooke, whom he represented, 
had large tracts of land in these parts, and 
Farrar likewise received an income from the 
state, whose legislature had at last opened its 
eyes to the timber depredations and had begun 
to buy up reserves. We had rooms in the 
same Elizabethan building at the corner of 
Main and Superior streets, but it was more 
than a year before I got farther than a nod 
with him. Farrar's nod in itself was a repul 
sion, and once you had seen it you mentally 
scored him from the list of your possible 
friends. Besides this freezing exterior he pos 
sessed a cutting and cynical tongue, and had 
but little confidence in the human race. These 
qualities did not tend to render him popular 
in a Western town, if indeed they would have 
recommended him anywhere, and I confess to 
have thought him a surly enough fellow, being 
guided by general opinion and superficial ob 
servation. Afterwards the town got to know 



8 The Celebrity 

him, and if it did not precisely like him, it 
respected him, which perhaps is better. And 
he gained at least a few warm friends, among 
whom I deem it an honor to be mentioned. 

Farrar's contempt for consequences finally 
brought him an unsought-for reputation. Ad 
miration for him was born the day he pushed 
O'Meara out of his office and down a flight 
of stairs because he had undertaken to suggest 
that which should be done with the timber in 
Jackson County. By this summary proceeding 
Farrar lost the support of a faction, O'Meara 
being a power in the state and chairman of the 
forestry board besides. But he got rid of in 
terference from that day forth. 

Oddly enough my friendship with Farrar was 
an indirect result of the incident I have just 
related. A few mornings after, I was seated 
in my office trying to concentrate my mind on 
page twenty of volume ten of the Records when 
I was surprised by O'Meara himself, accompa 
nied by two gentlemen whom I remembered to 
have seen on various witness stands. O'Meara 
was handsomely dressed, and his necktie made 
but a faint pretence of concealing the gorgeous 
diamond in his shirt-front. But his face wore 



The Celebrity 9 

an aggrieved air, and his left hand was neatly 
bound in black and tucked into his coat. He 
sank comfortably into my wicker chair, which 
creaked a protest, and produced two yellow- 
spotted cigars, chewing the end of one with 
much apparent relish and pushing the other 
at me. His two friends remained respectfully 
standing. I guessed at what was coming, and 
braced myself by refusing the cigar, not a 
great piece of self-denial, by the way. But a 
case meant much to me then, and I did seri 
ously regret that O'Meara was not a possible 
client. At any rate, my sympathy with Farrar 
in the late episode put him out of the ques 
tion. 

O'Meara cleared his throat and began gin 
gerly to undo the handkerchief on his hand. 
Then he brought his fist down on the table 
so that the ink started from the stand and his 
cheeks shook with the effort. 

" I'll make him pay for this ! " he shouted, 
with an oath. 

The other gentlemen nodded their approval, 
while I put the inkstand in a place of safety. 

" You're a pretty bright young man, Mr. 
Crocker," he went on, a look of cunning com- 



IO The Celebrity 

ing into his little eyes, "but I guess you ain't 
had too many cases to object to a big one." 

" Did you come here to tell me that ? " I 
asked. 

He looked me over queerly, and evidently 
decided that I meant no effrontery. 

"I came here to get your opinion," he said, 
holding up a swollen hand, " but I want to tell 
you first that I ought to get ten thousand, not a 
cent less. That scoundrelly young upstart " 

" If you want my opinion," I replied, trying 
to speak slowly, "it is that Mr. Farrar ought 
to get ten thousand dollars. And I think that 
would be only a moderate reward." 

I did not feel equal to pushing him into the 
street, as Farrar had done, and I have now but 
a vague notion of what he said and how he got 
there. But I remember that half an hour after 
wards a man congratulated me openly in the 
bank.' 

That night I found a new friend, although 
at the time I thought Farrar's visit to me the 
accomplishment of a perfunctory courtesy to 
a man who had refused to take a case against 
him. It was very characteristic of Farrar not 
to mention this until he rose to go. About 



The Celebrity II 

half-past eight he sauntered in upon me, plac 
ing his hat precisely on the rack, and we talked 
until ten, which is to say that I talked and he 
commented. His observations were apt, if a 
trifle caustic, and it is needless to add that I 
found them entertaining. As he was leaving 
he held out his hand. 

" I hear that O'Meara called on you to-day," 
he said diffidently. 

" Yes," I answered, smiling, " I was sorry not 
to have been able to take his case." 

I sat up for an hour or more, trying to arrive 
at some conclusion about Farrar, but at length 
I gave it up. His visit had in it something 
impulsive which I could not reconcile with his 
manner. He surely owed me nothing for refus 
ing a case against him, and must have known 
that my motives for so doing were not personal. 
But if I did not understand him, I liked him 
decidedly from that night forward, and I hoped 
that his advances had sprung from some other 
motive than politeness. And indeed we gradu 
ally drifted into a quasi-friendship. It became 
his habit, as he went out in the morning, to 
drop into my room for a match, and I returned 
the compliment by borrowing his coal oil when 



12 The Celebrity 

mine was out. At such times we would sit, or 
more frequently stand, discussing the affairs of 
the town and of the nation, for politics was 
an easy and attractive subject to us both. It 
was only in a general way that we touched 
upon each other's concerns, this being danger 
ous ground with Farrar, who was ever ready to 
close up at anything resembling a confidence. 
As for me, I hope I am not curious, but I own 
to having had a curiosity about Farrar's Phila 
delphia patron, to whom Farrar made but slight 
allusions. His very name Farquhar Fenelon 
Cooke had an odd sound which somehow be 
tokened an odd man, and there was more than 
one bit of gossip afloat in the town of which he 
was the subject, notwithstanding the fact that 
he had never honored it with a visit. The 
gossip was the natural result of Mr. Cooke's 
large properties in the vicinity. It has never 
been my habit, however, to press a friend on 
such matters, and I could easily understand and 
respect Farrar's reluctance to talk of one from 
whom he received an income. 

I had occasion, in the May of that year, to 
make a somewhat long business trip to Chicago, 
and on my return, much to my surprise, I found 



The Celebrity 13 

Farrar awaiting me in the railroad station. He 
smiled his wonted fraction by way of greeting, 
stopped to buy a newspaper, and finally leading 
me to his buggy, turned and drove out of town. 
I was completely mystified at such an unusual 
proceeding. 

"What's this for?" I asked. 

" I shan't bother you long," he said ; " I sim 
ply wanted the chance to talk to you before 
you got to your office. I have a Philadelphia 
client, a Mr. Cooke, of whom you may have 
heard me speak. Since you have been away 
the railroad has brought suit against him. The 
row is about the lands west of the Washita, on 
Copper Rise. It's the devil if he loses, for the 
ground is worth the dollar bills to cover it. I 
telegraphed, and he got here yesterday. He 
wants a lawyer, and I mentioned you." 

There came over me then in a flash a com 
prehension of Farrar which I had failed to 
grasp before. But I was quite overcome at his 
suggestion. 

" Isn't it rather a big deal to risk me on ? " 
I said. "Better go to Chicago and get Parks. 
He's an expert in that sort of thing." I am 
afraid my expostulation was weak. 



14 The Celebrity 

"I merely spoke of you," replied Farrar, 
coolly, " and he has gone around to your office. 
He knows about Parks, and if he wants him 
he'll probably take him. It all depends upon 
how you strike Cooke whether you get the 
case or not. I have never told you about 
him," he added with some hesitation ; " he's a 
trifle queer, but a good fellow at the bottom. 
I should hate to see him lose his land." 

" How is the railroad mixed up in it ? " I 
asked. 

" I don't know much about law, but it would 
seem as if they had a pretty strong case," he 
answered. He went on to tell me what he 
knew of the matter in his clean, pithy sen 
tences, often brutally cynical, as though he 
had not a spark of interest in any of it. 
Mr. Cooke' s claim to the land came from a 
maternal great-uncle, long since deceased, who 
had been a settler in these regions. The 
railroad answered that they had bought the 
land with other properties from the man, 
also deceased, to whom the old gentleman 
was alleged to have sold it. Incidentally I 
learned something of Mr. Cooke's maternal 
ancestry. 



The Celebrity 15 

We drove back to the office with some con 
cern on my part at the prospect of so large 
a case. Sunning himself on the board steps, 
I saw for the first time Mr. Farquhar Fenelon 
Cooke. He was dressed out in broad gaiters 
and bright tweeds, like an English tourist, and 
his face might have belonged to Dagon, idol 
of the Philistines. A silver snaffle on a heavy 
leather watch guard which connected the pock^ 
ets of his corduroy waistcoat, together with a 
huge gold stirrup in his Ascot tie, sufficiently 
proclaimed his tastes. But I found myself con 
tinually returning to the countenance, and I 
still think I could have modelled a better face 
out of putty. The mouth was rather small, 
thick-lipped, and put in at an odd angle ; the 
brown eyes were large, and from their habit 
of looking up at one lent to the round face an 
incongruous solemnity. But withal there was 
a perceptible acumen about the man which was 
puzzling in the extreme. 

" How are you, old man ? " said he, hardly 
waiting for Farrar to introduce me. "Well, I 
hope." It was pure cordiality, nothing more. 
He seemed to bubble over with it. 

I said I was well, and invited him inside. 



1 6 The Celebrity 

" No," he said ; " I like the look of the town. 
We can talk business here." 

And talk business he did, straight and to the 
point, so -fast and indistinctly that at times I 
could scarcely follow him. I answered his rapid 
questions briefly, and as best I knew how. He 
wanted to know what chance he had to win the 
suit, and I told him there might be other fac 
tors involved beside those of which he had 
spoken. Plainly, also, that the character of his 
great-uncle was in question, an intimation which 
he did not appear to resent. But that there 
was no denying the fact that the railroad had 
a strong thing of it, and a good lawyer into the 
bargain. 

"And don't you consider yourself a good 
lawyer?" he cut in. 

I pointed out that the railroad lawyer was a 
man of twice my age, experience, and reputation. 

Without more ado, and before either Farrar 
or myself had time to resist, he had hooked an 
arm into each of us, and we were all three 
marching down the street in the direction of 
his hotel. If this was agony for me, I could 
see that it was keener agony for Farrar. And 
although Mr. Farquhar Fenelon Cooke had 



The Celebrity 17 

been in town but a scant twenty-four hours, 
it seemed as if he knew more of its inhabitants 
than both of us put together. Certain it is 
that he was less particular with his acquaint 
ances. He hailed the most astonishing people 
with an easy air of freedom, now releasing 
my arm, now Farrar's, to salute. He always 
saluted. He stopped to converse with a dozen 
men we had never seen, many of whom smelled 
strongly of the stable, and he invariably intro 
duced Farrar as the forester of his estate, and 
me as his lawyer in the great quarrel with the 
railroad, until I began to wish I had never 
heard of Blackstone. And finally he steered us 
into the spacious bar of the Lake House. 

The next morning the three of us were off 
early for a look at the contested property. It 
was a twenty-mile drive, and the last eight miles 
wound down the boiling Washita, still high with 
the melting snows of the pine lands. And even 
here the snows yet slept in the deeper hollows, 
unconscious of the budding green of the slopes. 
How heartily I wished Mr. Farquhar Fenelon 
Cooke back in Philadelphia! By his eternal 
accounts of his Germantown stables and of the 
blue ribbons of his hackneys he killed all sense 



1 8 The Celebrity 

of pleasure of the scene, and set up an irritation 
that was well-nigh unbearable. At length we 
crossed the river, climbed the foot-hills, and 
paused on the ridge. Below us lay the quaint 
inn and scattered cottages of Asquith, and 
beyond them the limitless and foam-flecked 
expanse of lake : and on our right, lifting from 
the shore by easy slopes for a mile at stretch, 
Farrar pointed out the timbered lands of Cop 
per Rise, spread before us like a map. But 
the appreciation of beauty formed no part of 
Mr. Cooke's composition, that is, beauty as 
Farrar and I knew it. 

"If you win that case, old man," he cried, 
striking me a great whack between the shoulder- 
blades, " charge any fee you like ; I'll pay it ! 
And I'll make such a country-place out of this 
as was never seen west of New York state, and 
call it Mohair, after my old trotter. I'll put a 
palace on that clearing, with the stables just 
over the knoll. They'll beat the Germantown 
stables a whole lap. And that strip of level," 
he continued, pointing to a thinly timbered bit, 
"will hold a mile track nicely." 

Farrar and I gasped : it was as if we had 
tumbled into the Washita. 



The Celebrity ig 

" It will take money, Mr. Cooke," said Farrar, 
"and you haven't won the suit yet." 

"Damn the money!" said Mr. Cooke, and 
we knew he meant it. 

Over the episodes of that interminable morn 
ing it will be better to pass lightly. It was spent 
by Farrar and me in misery. It was spent by 
Mr. Farquhar Fenelon Cooke in an ecstasy of 
enjoyment, driving over and laying out Mohair, 
and I must admit he evinced a surprising genius 
in his planning, although, according to Farrar, 
he broke every sacred precept of landscape 
gardening again and again. He displayed the 
enthusiasm of a pioneer, and the energy of a 
Napoleon. And if he were too ignorant to 
accord to nature a word of praise, he had the 
grace and intelligence to compliment Farrar on 
the superb condition of the forests, and on the 
judgment shown in laying out the roads, which 
were so well chosen that even in this season 
they were well drained and dry. That day, too, 
my views were materially broadened, and I re 
ceived an insight into the methods and possi 
bilities of my friend's profession sufficient to 
instil a deeper respect both for it and for him. 
The crowded spots had been skilfully thinned 



2O The Celebrity 

of the older trees to give the younger ones a 
chance, and the harmony of the whole had been 
carefully worked out. Now we drove under 
dark pines and hemlocks, and then into a 
lighter relief of birches and wild cherries, or 
a copse of young beeches. And I learned 
that the estate had not only been paying the 
taxes and its portion of Farrar's salary, but also 
a considerable amount into Mr. Cooke's pocket 
the while it was being improved. 

Mr. Cooke made his permanent quarters at 
the Lake House, and soon became one of the 
best-known characters about town. He seemed 
to enjoy his popularity, and I am convinced that 
he would have been popular in spite of his now- 
famous quarrel with the raitroad. His easy 
command of profanity, his generous use of 
money, his predilection for sporting characters, 
of whom he was king ; his ready geniality and 
good-fellowship alike with the clerk of the Lake 
House or the Mayor, not to mention his own 
undeniable personality, all combined to make 
him a favorite. He had his own especial table 
in the dining-room, called all the waiters by 
their first names, and they fought for the privi 
lege of attending him. He likewise called the 



The Celebrity 21 

barkeepers by their first names, and had his 
own particular corner of the bar, where none 
dared intrude, and where he could almost inva 
riably be found when not in my office. From 
this corner he dealt out cigars to the deserving, 
held stake moneys, decided all bets, and refereed 
all differences. His name appeared in the per 
sonal column of one of the local papers on the 
average of twice a week, or in lieu thereof one 
of his choicest stories in the "Notes about 
Town " column. 

The case was to come up early in July, and 
I spent most of my time, to the detriment of 
other affairs, in preparing for it. I was greatly 
hampered in my work by my client, who filled 
my office with his tobacco-smoke and that of 
his friends, and he took it very much for 
granted that he was going to win the suit. 
Fortune had always played into his hands, he 
said, and I had no little difficulty in convincing 
him that matters had passed from his hands 
into mine. In this I believe I was never en 
tirely successful. I soon found, too, that he 
had no ideas whatever on the value of dis 
cretion, and it was only by repeated threats of 
absolute failure that I prevented our secret 



22 The Celebrity 

tactics from becoming the property of his 
sporting fraternity and of the town. 

The more I worked on the case, the clearer 
it became to me that Mr. Farquhar Fenelon 
Cooke's great-uncle had been either a consum 
mate scoundrel or a lunatic, and that our only 
hope of winning must be based on proving him 
one or the other ; it did not matter much which, 
for my expectations at best were small. When 
I had at length settled to this conclusion I con 
fided it as delicately as possible to my client, 
who was sitting at the time with his feet cocked 
up on the office table, reading a pink news 
paper. 

" Which'll be the easier to prove ? " he asked, 
without looking up. 

" It would be more charitable to prove he 
had been out of his mind," I replied, "and per 
haps easier." 

"Charity be damned," said this remarkable 
man. " I'm after the property." 

So I decided on insanity. I hunted up and 
subpoenaed white-haired witnesses for miles 
around. Many of them shook their heads when 
they spoke of Mr. Cooke's great-uncle, and 
some knew more of his private transactions 



The Celebrity 23 

than I could have wished, and I trembled lest 
my own witnesses should be turned against 
me. I learned more of Mr. Cooke's great-uncle 
than I knew of Mr. Cooke himself, and to the 
credit of my client be it said that none of his 
relative's traits were apparent in him, with the 
possible exception of insanity ; and that defect, 
if it existed in the grand-nephew, took in him 
a milder and less criminal turn. The old rascal, 
indeed, had so cleverly worded his deed of sale 
as to obtain payment without transfer. It was 
a trifle easier to avoid being specific in that 
country in his day than it is now, and the docu 
ment was, in my opinion, sufficiently vague to 
admit of a double meaning. The original sale 
had been made to a man, now dead, whom the 
railroad had bought out. The Copper Rise 
property was mentioned among the other lands 
in the will in favor of Mr. Farquhar Fenelon 
Cooke, and the latter had gone ahead improving 
them and increasing their output in spite of the 
repeated threats of the railroad to bring suit. 
And it was not until its present attorney had 
come in and investigated the title that the rail 
road had resorted to the law. I mention here^ 
by the way, that my client was the sole heir. 



24 The Celebrity 

But as the time of the sessions drew near, the 
outlook for me was anything but bright. It is 
true that my witnesses were quite willing to 
depose that his actions were queer and out of 
the common, but these witnesses were for the 
most part venerable farmers and backwoods 
men : expert testimony was deplorably lacking. 
In this extremity it was Mr. Farquhar Fenelon 
Cooke himself who came unwittingly to my 
rescue. He had bought a horse, he could 
never be in a place long without one, which 
was chiefly remarkable, he said, for picking up 
his hind feet as well as his front ones. How 
ever he may have differed from the ordinary 
run of horses, he was shortly attacked by one 
of the thousand ills to which every horse is sub 
ject. I will not pretend to say what it was. 
I found Mr. Cooke one morning at his usual 
place in the Lake House bar holding forth with 
more than common vehemence and profanity 
on the subject of veterinary surgeons. He 
declared there was not a veterinary surgeon in 
the whole town fit to hold a certificate, and his 
listeners nodded an extreme approval to this 
sentiment. A grizzled old fellow who kept a 
stock farm back in the country chanced to be 



The Celebrity 25 

there, and managed to get a word in on the 
subject during one of my client's rare pauses. 

"Yes," he said, "that's so. There ain't one 
of 'em now fit to travel with young Doctor 
Vane, who was here some fifteen years gone 
by. He weren't no horse-doctor, but he could 
fix up a foundered horse in a night as good as 
new. If your uncle was livin', he'd back me 
on that, Mr. Cooke." 

Here was my chance. I took the old man 
aside, and two or three glasses of Old Crow 
launched him into reminiscence. 

"Where is Doctor Vane now?" I asked 
finally. 

"Over to Minneapolis, sir, with more rich 
patients nor he can take care of. Wasn't my 
darter over there last month, and seen him ? 
And demned if he didn't pull up his carriage 
and talk to her. Here's luck to him." 

I might have heard much more of the stock- 
raiser had I stayed, but I fear I left him some 
what abruptly in my haste to find Farrar. Only 
three days remained before the case was to 
come up. Farrar readily agreed to go to Min 
neapolis, and was off on the first train that 
afternoon. I would have asked Mr. Cooke to 



.26 The Celebrity 

go had I dared trust him, such was my anxiety 
to have him out of the way, if only for a time. 
I did not tell him about the doctor. He sat up 
very late with me that night on the Lake House 
porch to give me a rubbing down, as he ex 
pressed it, as he might have admonished some 
favorite jockey before a sweepstake. "Take 
it easy, old man," he would say repeatedly, 
"and don't give things the bit before you're 
sure of their wind ! " 

Days passed, and not a word from Farrar. 
The case opened with Mr. Cooke's friends on 
the front benches. The excitement it caused 
has rarely been equalled in that section, but I 
believe this was due less to its sensational 
features than to Mr. Cooke, who had an ab 
normal though unconscious talent for self-ad 
vertisement. It became manifest early that 
we were losing. Our testimony, as I had 
feared, was not strong enough, although they 
said we were making a good fight of it. I was 
racked with anxiety about Farrar ; at last, when 
I had all but given up hope, I received a tele 
gram from him dated at Detroit, saying he 
would arrive with the doctor that evening. 
This was Friday, the fourth day of the trial. 



The Celebrity 27 

The doctor turned out to be a large man, 
well groomed and well fed, with a twinkle in 
his eye. He had gone to Narragansett Pier 
for the summer, whither Farrar had followed 
him. On being introduced, Mr. Cooke at once 
invited him out to have a drink. 

"Did you know my uncle ? " asked my client. 

"Yes," said the doctor, "I should say I did." 

" Poor old duffer," said Mr. Cooke, with due 
solemnity ; " I understand he was a maniac." 

"Well," said the doctor, while we listened 
with a breathless interest, "he wasn't exactly 
a maniac, but I think I can safely say he was 
a lunatic." 

" Then here's to insanity ! " said the irre 
pressible, his glass swung in mid-air, when a 
thought struck him, and he put it down again 
and looked hard at the doctor. 

" Will you swear to it ? " he demanded. 

"I would swear to it before Saint Peter," 
said the doctor, fervently. 

He swore to it before a jury, which was more 
to the point, and we won our case. It did not 
even go to the court of appeals ; I suppose the 
railroad thought it cheaper to drop it, since no 
right of way was involved. And the decision 



28 The Celebrity 

was scarcely announced before Mr. Farquhar 
Fenelon Cooke had begun work on his new 
country place, Mohair. 

I have oftentimes been led to consider the 
relevancy of this chapter, and have finally de 
cided to insert it. I concluded that the actual 
narrative of how Mr. Cooke came to establish 
his country-place near Asquith would DC : nter- 
esting, and likewise throw some light on that 
gentleman's character. And I ask the reader's 
forbearance for the necessary personal history 
involved. Had it not been for Mr. Cooke's 
friendship for me I should not have written 
these pages. 



CHAPTER III 

EVENTS are consequential or inconsequential 
irrespective of their size. The wars of Troy 
were fought for a woman, and Charles VIII, of 
France, bumped his head against a stone door 
way and died because he did not stoop low 
enough. And to descend from history down 
to my own poor chronicle, Mr. Cooke's rail 
road case, my first experience at the bar of 
any gravity or magnitude, had tied to it a 
string of consequences then far beyond my 
guessing. The suit was my stepping-stone not 
only to a larger and more remunerative prac 
tice, but also, I believe, to the position of dis 
trict attorney, which I attained shortly after 
wards. 

Mr. Cooke had laid out Mohair as ruthlessly 
as Napoleon planned the new Paris ; though 
not, I regret to say, with a like genius. Fortu 
nately Farrar interposed and saved the grounds, 
but there was no guardian angel to do a like 
turn for the house. Mr. Langdon Willis, of 
29 



30 The Celebrity 

Philadelphia, was the architect who had norni- 
nal charge of the building. He had regularly 
submitted some dozen plans for Mr. Cooke's 
approval, which were as regularly rejected. My 
client believed, in common with a great many 
other people, that architects should be driven 
and not followed, and was plainly resolved to 
make this house the logical development of 
many cherished ideas. It is not strange, there 
fore, that the edifice was completed by a Chi 
cago contractor who had less self-respect than 
Mr. Willis, the latter having abruptly refused 
to have his name tacked on to the work. 

Mohair was finished and ready for occupation 
in July, two years after the suit. I drove out 
one day before Mr. Cooke's arrival to look it 
over. The grounds, where Farrar had had mat 
ters pretty much his own way, to my mind 
rivalled the best private parks in the East. 
The stables were filled with a score or so of 
Mr. Cooke's best horses, brought hither in his 
private cars, and the trotters were exercising 
on the track. 

The middle of June found Farrar and myself 
at the Asquith Inn. It was Farrar's custom to 
go to Asquith in the summer, being near the 



The Celebrity 31 

forest properties in his charge ; and since 
Asquith was but five miles from the county- 
seat it was convenient for me, and gave me 
the advantages of the lake breezes and a com 
parative rest, which I should not have had in 
town. At that time Asquith was a small com 
munity of summer residents from Cincinnati, 
Chicago, St. Louis, and other western cities, 
most of whom owned cottages and the grounds 
around them. They were a quiet lot that long 
association had made clannish ; and they had 
a happy faculty, so rare in summer resorts, of 
discrimination between an amusement and a 
nuisance. Hence a great many diversions which 
are accounted pleasurable elsewhere are at As 
quith set down at their true value. It was, 
therefore, rather with resentment than other 
wise that the approaching arrival of Mr. Cooke 
and the guests he was likely to have at 
Mohair were looked upon. 

I had not been long at Asquith before I 
discovered that Farrar was acting in a peculiar 
manner, though I was longer in finding out 
what the matter was. I saw much less of him 
than in town. Once in a while in the even 
ings, after ten, he would run across me on 



32 The Celebrity 

the porch of the inn, or drift into my rooms. 
Even after three years of more or less inti 
macy between us, Farrar still wore his exterior 
of pessimism and indifference, the shell with 
which he chose to hide a naturally warm and 
affectionate disposition. In the dining-room 
we sat together at the end of a large table 
set aside for bachelors and small families of 
two or three, and it seemed as though we had 
all the humorists and story-tellers in that place. 
And Farrar as a source of amusement proved 
equal to the best of them. He would wait 
until a story was well under way, and then an 
nihilate the point of it with a cutting cynicism 
and set the table in a roar of laughter. Among 
others who were seated here was a Mr. Trevor, 
of Cincinnati, one of the pioneers of Asquith. 
Mr. Trevor was a trifle bombastic, with a ten 
dency towards gesticulation, an art which he 
had learned in no less a school than the Ohio 
State Senate. He was a self-made man, a 
fact which he took good care should not escape 
one, and had amassed his money, I believe, 
in the dry-goods business. He always wore a 
long, shiny coat, a low, turned-down collar, and 
a black tie, all of which united to give him 



The Celebrity 33 

the general appearance of a professional pall 
bearer. 

But Mr. Trevor possessed a daughter who 
amply made up for his shortcomings. She was 
the only one who could meet Farrar on his own 
ground, and rarely a meal passed that they did 
not have a tilt. They filled up the holes of the 
conversation with running commentaries, giving 
a dig at the luckless narrator and a side-slap 
at each other, until one would have given his 
oath they were sworn enemies. At least I, in 
the innocence of my heart, thought so until 
I was forcibly enlightened. I had taken rather 
a prejudice to Miss Trevor. I could find no 
better reason than her antagonism to Farrar. 
I was revolving this very thing in my mind 
one day as I was paddling back to the inn after 
a look at my client's new pier and boat-houses, 
when I descried Farrar's catboat some distance 
out. The lake was glass, and the sail hung 
lifeless. It was near lunch-time, and charity 
prompted me to head for the boat and give it 
a tow homeward. As I drew near, Farrar him 
self emerged from behind the sail and asked 
me, with a great show of nonchalance, what I 
wanted. 



34 The Celebrity 

"To tow you back for lunch, of course," I 
answered, used to his ways. 

He threw me a line, which I made fast to the 
stern, and then he disappeared again. I thought 
this somewhat strange, but as the boat was a 
light one, I towed it in and hitched it to the 
wharf, when, to my great astonishment, there 
disembarked not Farrar, but Miss Trevor. 
She leaped lightly ashore and was gone before 
I could catch my breath, while Farrar let down 
the sail and offered me a cigarette. I had 
learned a lesson in appearances. 

It could not have been very long after this 
that I was looking over my batch of New York 
papers, which arrived weekly, when my eye was 
arrested by a name. I read the paragraph, 
which announced the fact that my friend the 
Celebrity was about to sail for Europe in search 
of " color " for his next novel ; this was already 
contracted for at a large price, and was to be of 
a more serious nature than any of his former 
work. An interview was published in which 
the Celebrity had declared that a new novel 
was to appear in a short time. I do not know 
what impelled me, but I began at once to 
search through the other papers, and found 



The Celebrity 35 

almost identically the same notice in all oi 
them. 

By one of those odd coincidents which some 
times start one to thinking, the Celebrity was 
the subject of a lively discussion when I reached 
the table that evening. I had my quota of in 
formation concerning his European trip, but I 
did not commit myself when appealed to for an 
opinion. I had once known the man (which, 
however, I did not think it worth while to 
mention) and I did not feel justified in criticis 
ing him in public. Besides, what I knew of 
him was excellent, and entirely apart from the 
literary merit or demerit of his work. The 
others, however, were within their right when 
they censured or praised him, and they did 
both. Farrar, in particular, surprised me by 
the violence of his attacks, while Miss Trevor 
took up the Celebrity's defence with equal 
ardor. Her motives were beyond me now. 
The Celebrity's works spoke for themselves, 
she said, and she could not and would not 
believe such injurious reports of one who 
wrote as he did. 

The next day I went over to the county-seat, 
and got back to Asquith after dark. I dined 



36 The Celebrity 

alone, and afterwards I was strolling up and 
down one end of the long veranda when I 
caught sight of a lonely figure in a corner, 
with chair tilted back and feet on the rail. 
A gleam of a cigar lighted up the face, and 
I saw that it was Farrar. I sat down beside 
him, and we talked commonplaces for a while, 
Farrar's being almost monosyllabic, while now 
and again feminine voices and feminine laugh 
ter reached our ears from the far end of the 
porch. They seemed to go through Farrar like 
a knife, and he smoked furiously, his lips tightly 
compressed the while. I had a dozen conjec 
tures, none of which I dared voice. So I 
waited in patience. 

"Crocker," said he, at length, "there's a 
man here from Boston, Charles Wrexell Allen ; 
came this morning. You know Boston. Have 
you ever heard of him ? " 

"Allen," I repeated, reflecting; "no Charles 
Wrexell." 

" It is Charles Wrexell, I think," said Farrar, 
as though the matter were trivial. " However, 
we can go into the register and make sure." 

" What about him ? " I asked, not feeling 
inclined to stir. 



The Celebrity 37 

"Oh, nothing. An arrival is rather an oc 
currence, though. You can hear him down 
there now," he added, tossing his head towards 
the other end of the porch, "with the women 
around him." 

In fact, I did catch the deeper sound of a 
man's voice among the lighter tones, and the 
voice had a ring to it which was not wholly 
unfamiliar, although I could not place it. 

I threw Farrar a bait. 

"He must make friends easily," I said. 

"With the women? yes," he replied, so 
scathingly that I was forced to laugh in spite 
of myself. 

" Let us go in and look at the register," 
I suggested. " You may have his name 
wrong." 

We went in accordingly. Sure enough, in 
bold, heavy characters, was the name Charles 
Wrexell A lien written out in full. That hand 
writing was one in a thousand. I made sure I 
had seen it before, and yet I did not know it ; 
and the more I puzzled over it the more con 
fused I became. I turned to Farrar. 

"I have had a poor cigar passed off on me 
and deceive me for a while. That is precisely 



38 The Celebrity 

the case here. I think I should recognize yout 
man if I were to see him." 

"Well," said Farrar, "here's your chance." 

The company outside were moving in. Two 
or three of the older ladies came first, carrying 
their wraps ; then a troop of girls, among whom 
was Miss Trevor; and lastly, a man. Farrar 
and I had walked to the door while the women 
turned into the drawing-room, so that we were 
brought face to face with him, suddenly. At 
sight of me he halted abruptly, as though he had 
struck the edge of a door, changed color, and 
held out his hand, tentatively. Then he with 
drew it again, for I made no sign of recognition. 

It was the Celebrity ! 

I felt a shock of disgust as I passed out. 
Masquerading, it must be admitted, is not pleas 
ant to the taste ; and the whole farce, as it 
flashed through my mind, his advertised trip, 
his turning up here under an assumed name, 
had an ill savor. Perhaps some of the things 
they said of him might be true, after all. 

"Who the devil is he?" said Farrar, drop 
ping for once his indifference ; " he looked as if 
he knew you." 

I evaded. 



The Celebrity 39 

" He may have taken me for some one else," 
I answered with all the coolness I could muster. 
" I have never met any one of his name. His 
voice and handwriting, however, are very much 
like those of a man I used to know." 

Farrar was very poor company that evening, 
and left me early. I went to my rooms and 
had taken down a volume of Carlyle, who can 
generally command my attention, when there 
came a knock at the door. 

"Come in," I replied, with an instinctive 
sense of prophecy. 

This was fulfilled at once by the appearance 
of the Celebrity. He was attired for the de 
tails of his dress forced themselves upon me 
vividly in a rough-spun suit of knickerbockers, 
a colored shirt having a large and prominent 
gold stud, red and brown stockings of a diamond 
pattern, and heavy walking-boots. And he 
entered with an air of assurance that was 
maddening. 

"My dear Crocker," he exclaimed, "you have 
no idea how delighted I am to see you here ! " 

I rose, first placing a book-mark in Carlyle, 
and assured him that I was surprised to see him 
here. 



4O The Celebrity 

"Surprised to see me !" he returned, far from 
being damped by my manner. " In fact, I am a 
little surprised to see myself here." 

He sank back on the window-seat and clasped 
his hands behind his head. 

" But first let me thank you for respecting my 
incognito," he said. 

I tried hard to keep my temper, marvelling at 
the ready way he had chosen to turn my action. 

"And now," he continued, "I suppose you 
want to know why I came out here." He easily 
supplied the lack of cordial solicitation on my 
part. 

"Yes, I should like to know," I said. 

Thus having aroused my curiosity, he took his 
time about appeasing it, after the custom of his 
kind. He produced a gold cigarette case, offered 
me a cigarette, which I refused, took one him 
self and blew the smoke in rings toward the 
ceiling. Then, raising himself on his elbow, he 
drew his features together in such a way as to 
lead me to believe he was about to impart some 
valuable information. 

"Crocker," said he, "it's the very deuce to be 
famous, isn't it ? " 

"I suppose it is," I replied curtly, wondering 



The Celebrity 41 

what he was driving at ; "I have never tried 
it." 

"An ordinary man, such as you, can't con 
ceive of the torture a fellow in my position is 
obliged to go through the year round, but espe 
cially in the summer, when one wishes to go off 
on a rest. You know what I mean, of course." 

" I am afraid I do not," I answered, in a vain 
endeavor to embarrass him. 

" You're thicker than when I used to know 
you, then," he returned with candor. "To tell 
the truth, Crocker, I often wish I were back at 
the law, and had never written a line. I am 
paying the penalty of fame. Wherever I go I 
am hounded to death by the people who have 
read my books, and they want to dine and wine 
me for the sake of showing me off at their 
houses. I am heartily sick and tired of it all ; 
you would be if you had to go through it. I 
could stand a winter, but the worst comes in the 
summer, when one meets the women who fire 
all sorts of socio-psychological questions at one 
for solution, and who have suggestions for 
stories." He shuddered. 

"And what has all this to do with your coming 
here ? " I cut in, strangling a smile. 



42 The Celebrity 

He twisted his cigarette at an acute angle 
with his face, and looked at me out of the corner 
of his eye. 

"I'll try to be a little plainer," he went on, 
sighing as one unused to deal with people who 
require crosses on their fs. " I've been worried 
almost out of my mind with attention nothing 
but attention the whole time. I can't go on 
the street but what I'm stared at and pointed 
out, so I thought of a scheme to relieve it for a 
time. It was becoming unbearable. I deter 
mined to assume a name and go to some quiet 
little place for the summer, West, if possible, 
where I was not likely to be recognized, and 
have three months of rest." 

He paused, but I offered no comment. 

" Well, the more I thought of it, the better I 
liked the idea. I met a western man at the club 
and asked him about western resorts, quiet 
ones. ' Have you heard of Asquith ? ' says he. 
' No,' said I ; ' describe it.' He did, and it was 
just the place ; quaint, restful, and retired. Of 
course I put him off the track, but I did not 
count on striking you. My man boxed up, and 
we were off in twenty-four hours, and here I 
am." 



The Celebrity 43 

Now all this was very fine, but not at all in 
keeping with the Celebrity's character as I had 
come to conceive it. The idea that adulation 
ever cloyed on him was ludicrous in itself. In 
fact I thought the whole story fishy, and came 
very near to saying so. 

"You won't tell anyone who I am, will you?" 
he asked anxiously. 

He even misinterpreted my silences. 

" Certainly not," I replied. " It is no concern 
of mine. You might come here as Emil Zola 
or Ralph Waldo Emerson and it would make no 
difference to me." 

He looked at me dubiously, even suspiciously. 

"That's a good chap," said he, and was gone, 
leaving me to reflect on the ways of genius. 

And the longer I reflected, the more positive 
I became that there existed a more potent reason 
for the Celebrity's disguise than ennui. As 
actions speak louder than words, so does a 
man's character often give the lie to his tongue. 



CHAPTER IV 

A LION in an ass's skin is still a lion in spite 
of his disguise. Conversely, the same might 
be said of an ass in a lion's skin. The Celeb 
rity ran after women with the same readiness 
and helplessness that a dog will chase chickens, 
or that a stream will run down hill. Women 
differ from chickens, however, in the fact that 
they find pleasure in being chased by a certain 
kind of a man. The Celebrity was this kind of 
a man. From the moment his valet deposited 
his luggage in his rooms, Charles Wrexell Allen 
became the social hero of Asquith. It is by 
straws we are enabled to tell which way the 
wind is blowing, and I first noticed his par 
tiality for Miss Trevor from the absence of 
the lively conflicts she was wont to have with 
Farrar. These ceased entirely after the Celeb 
rity's arrival. It was the latter who now com 
manded the conversation at our table. 

I was truly sorry for Farrar, for I knew the 
man, the depth of his nature, and the scope of 
44 



The Celebrity 45 

the shock. He carried it off altogether too 
well, and both the studied lightness of his 
actions and the increased carelessness of his 
manner made me fear that what before was 
feigned, might turn to a real bitterness. 

For Farrar's sake, if the Celebrity had been 
content with women in general, all would have 
been well ; but he was unable to generalize, in 
one sense, and to particularize, in another. 
And it was plain that he wished to monopolize 
Miss Trevor, while still retaining a hold upon 
the others. For my sake, had he been content 
with women alone, I should have had no cause 
to complain. But it seemed that I had an 
attraction for him, second only to women, 
which I could not account for. And I began 
to be cursed with a great deal of his company. 
Since he was absolutely impervious to hints, 
and would not take no for an answer, I was 
helpless. When he had no engagement he 
would thrust himself on me. He seemed to 
know by intuition for I am very sure I never 
told him what my amusement was to be the 
mornings I did not go to the county-seat, and 
he would invariably turn up, properly equipped, 
as I was making my way with Judge Short to 



46 The Celebrity 

the tennis court, or carrying my oars to the 
water. It was in vain that I resorted to sub 
terfuge : that I went to bed early intending to 
be away before the Celebrity's rising hour. I 
found he had no particular rising hour. No 
matter how early I came down, I would find 
him on the veranda, smoking cigarettes, or 
otherwise his man would be there with a mes 
sage to say that his master would shortly join 
me if I would kindly wait. And at last I began 
to realize in my harassed soul that all elusion 
was futile, and to take such holidays as I could 
get, when he was off with a girl, in a spirit of 
thankfulness. 

Much of this persecution I might have put 
up with, indeed, had I not heard, in one way or 
another, that he was doing me the honor of call 
ing me his intimate. This I could not stand, 
and I soberly resolved to leave Asquith and go 
back to town, which I should indeed have done 
if deliverance had not arrived from an unex 
pected quarter. 

One morning I had been driven to the pre 
carious refuge afforded by the steps of the inn, 
after rejecting offers from the Celebrity to join 
him in a variety of amusements. But even 



The Celebrity 47 

here I was not free from interruption, for he 
was seated on a horse-block below me, playing 
with a fox terrier. Judge Short had gone to 
town, and Farrar was off for a three days' cruise 
up the lake. I was bitterly regretting I had not 
gone with him when the distant notes of a coach 
horn reached my ear, and 1 descried a four-in- 
hand winding its way up the inn road from the 
direction of Mohair. 

"That must be your friend Cooke," remarked 
the Celebrity, looking up. 

There could be no doubt of it. With little 
difficulty I recognized on the box the familiar 
figure of my first important client, and beside 
him was a lady whom I supposed to be Mrs. 
Farquhar Fenelon Cooke, although I had had 
no previous knowledge that such a person ex 
isted. The horses were on a brisk trot, and 
Mr. Cooke seemed to be getting the best out 
of them for the benefit of the sprinkling of 
people on the inn porch. Indeed, I could not 
but admire the dexterous turn of the wrist 
which served Mr. Cooke to swing his leaders 
into the circle and up the hill, while the liveried 
guard leaned far out in anticipation of a stumble. 
Mr. Cooke hailed me with a beaming smile and 



48 The Celebrity 

a flourish of the whip as he drew up and de 
scended from the box. 

"Maria," he exclaimed, giving me a hearty 
grip, "this is the man that won Mohair. My 
wife, Crocker." 

I was somewhat annoyed at this effusiveness 
before the Celebrity, but I looked up and caught 
Mrs. Cooke's eye. It was the calm eye of a 
general. 

" I am glad of the opportunity to thank you, 
Mr. Crocker," she said simply. And I liked 
her from that moment. 

Mr. Cooke at once began a tirade against the 
residents of Asquith for permitting a sandy and 
generally disgraceful condition of the roads. 
So roundly did he vituperate the inn manage 
ment in particular, and with such a loud flow of 
words, that I trembled lest he should be heard 
on the veranda. The Celebrity stood by the 
block, in an amazement which gave me a wicked 
pleasure, and it was some minutes before I had 
the chance to introduce him. 

Mr. Cooke's idea of an introduction, however, 
was no mere word-formula : it was fraught with 
a deeper and a bibulous meaning. He presented 
the Celebrity to his wife, and then invited both 



The Celebrity 49 

of us to go inside with him by one of those neat 
and cordial paraphrases in which he was skilled. 
I preferred to remain with Mrs. Cooke, and it 
was with a gleam of hope at a possible deliver 
ance from my late persecution that I watched 
the two disappear together through the hall and 
into the smoking-room. 

"How do you like Mohair?" I asked Mrs. 
Cooke. 

" Do you mean the house or the park ? " she 
Jaughed ; and then, seeing my embarrassment, 
she went on : " Oh, the house is just like every 
thing else Fenelon meddles with. Outside it's 
a mixture of all the styles, and inside a hash of 
all the nationalities from Siamese to Spanish. 
Fenelon hangs the Oriental tinsels he has col 
lected on pieces of black baronial oak, and the 
coat-of-arms he had designed by our Philadelphia 
jewellers is stamped on the dining-room chairs, 
and even worked into the fire screens." 

There was nothing paltry in her criticism of 
her husband, nothing she would not have said 
to his face. She was a woman who made you 
feel this, for sincerity was written all over her. 
I could not help wondering why she gave Mr. 
Cooke line in the matter of household decora- 



50 The Celebrity 

tion, unless it was that he considered Mohaif 
his own, private hobby, and that she humored 
him. Mrs. Cooke was not without tact, and I 
have no doubt she perceived my reluctance to 
talk about her husband and respected it. 

" We drove down to bring you back to lunch 
eon," she said. 

I thanked her and accepted. She was curious 
to hear about Asquith and its people, and I told 
her all I knew. 

"I should like to meet some of them," she 
explained, "for we intend having a cotillon at 
Mohair, a kind of house-warming, you know. 
A party of Mr. Cooke's friends is coming out 
for it in his car, and he thought something of 
inviting the people of Asquith up for a dance." 

I had my doubts concerning the wisdom of an 
entertainment, the success of which depended 
on the fusion of a party of Mr. Cooke's friends 
and a company from Asquith. But I held my 
peace. She shot a question at me suddenly : 

"Who is this Mr. Allen?" 

" He registers from Boston, and only came a 
fortnight ago," I replied vaguely. 

" He doesn't look quite right ; as though he 
had been set down on the wrong planet, you 



The Celebrity 51 

know," said Mrs. Cooke, her finger on her 
temple. "What is he like?" 

" Well," I answered, at first with uncertainty, 
then with inspiration, " he would do splendidly 
to lead your cotillon, if you think of having 
one." 

" So you do not dance, Mr. Crocker ? " 

I was somewhat set back by her perspicacity. 

" No, I do not," said I. 

" I thought not," she said, laughing. It must 
have been my expression which prompted her 
next remark. 

" I was not making fun of you," she said, 
more soberly ; " I do not like Mr. Allen any 
better than you do, and I have only seen him 
once." 

"But I have not said I did not like him," I 
objected. 

" Of course not," said Mrs. Cooke, quizzically. 

At that moment, to my relief, I discerned the 
Celebrity and Mr. Cooke in the hallway. 

" Here they come, now," she went on. " I 
do wish Fenelon would keep his hands off the 
people he meets. I can feel he is going to 
make an intimate of that man. Mark my 
words, Mr. Crocker." 



52 The Celebrity 

I not only marked them, I prayed for their 
fulfilment. 

There was that in Mr. Cooke which, for want 
of a better name, I will call instinct. As he 
came down the steps, his arm linked in that of 
the Celebrity, his attitude towards his wife was 
both apologetic and defiant. He had at once 
the air of a child caught with a forbidden toy, 
and that of a stripling of twenty-one who flaunts 
a cigar in his father's face. 

"Maria," he said, "Mr. Allen has consented 
to come back with us for lunch." 

We drove back to Mohair, Mr. Cooke and the 
Celebrity on the box, Mrs. Cooke and I behind. 
Except to visit the boathouses I had not been 
to Mohair since the day of its completion, and 
now the full beauty of the approach struck me 
for the first time. We swung by the lodge, 
the keeper holding open the iron gate as we 
passed, and into the wide driveway, hewn, as it 
were, out of the virgin forest. The sandy soil 
had been strengthened by a deep road-bed of 
clay imported from the interior, which was 
spread in turn with a fine gravel, which 
crunched under the heavy wheels. From the 
lodge to the house, a full mile, branches had 



The Celebrity 53 

oeen pruned to let the sunshine sift through 
in splotches, but the wild nature of the place 
had been skilfully retained. We curved hither 
and thither under the giant trees until suddenly, 
as a whip straightens in the snapping, one of 
the ancient tribes of the forest might have sent 
an arrow down the leafy gallery into the open, 
and at the far end we caught sight of the 
palace framed in the vista. It was a triumph 
for Farrar, and I wished that the palace had 
been more worthy. 

The Celebrity did not stint his praises of 
Mohair, coming up the drive, but so lavish were 
his comments on the house that they won for 
him a lasting place in Mr. Cooke's affections, 
and encouraged my client to pull up his horses 
in a favorable spot, and expand on the beauties 
of the mansion. 

"Taking it altogether," said he, complacently, 
"it is rather a neat box, and I let myself loose 
on it. I had all these ideas I gathered knock 
ing about the world, and I gave them to Willis, 
of Philadelphia, to put together for me. But 
he's honest enough not to claim the house. 
Take, for instance, that minaret business on 
the west ; I picked that up from a mosque in 



54 The Celebrity 

Algiers. The oriel just this side is whole cloth 
from Haddon Hall, and the galleried porch next 
it from a Florentine villa. The conical capped 
tower I got from a French chdteau, and some 
of the features on the south from a Buddhist 
temple in Japan. Only a little blending and 
grouping was necessary, and Willis calls him 
self an architect, and wasn't equal to it. Now," 
he added, "get the effect. Did you ever see 
another house like it ? " 

" Magnificent ! " exclaimed the Celebrity. 

"And then," my client continued, warming 
under this generous appreciation, "there's some 
thing very smart about those colors. They're 
my racing colors. Of course the granite's a 
little off, but it isn't prominent. Willis kicked 
hard when it came to painting the oriel yellow, 
but an architect always takes it for granted he 
knows it all, and a " 

"Fenelon," said Mrs. Cooke, "luncheon is 
waiting." 

Mrs. Cooke dominated at luncheon and re 
tired, and it is certain that both Mr. Cooke and 
the Celebrity breathed more freely when she 
had gone. If her criticisms on the exterior of 
the house were just, those on the interior were 



The Celebrity 55 

more so. Not only did I find the coat-of-arms 
set forth on the chairs, fire-screens, and other 
prominent articles, but it was even cut into the 
swinging door of the butler's pantry. The 
motto I am afraid my client never took the 
trouble to have translated, and I am inclined to 
think his jewellers put up a little joke on him 
when they chose it. " Be Sober and Boast not." 

I observed that Mrs. Cooke, when she chose, 
could exert the subduing effect on her husband 
of a soft pedal on a piano ; and during luncheon 
she kept the soft pedal on. And the Celebrity, 
being in some degree a kindred spirit, was also 
held in check. But his wife had no sooner left 
the room when Mr. Cooke began on the sub 
ject uppermost in his mind. I had suspected 
that his trip to Asquith that morning was for a 
purpose at which Mrs. Cooke had hinted. But 
she, with a woman's tact, had aimed to accom 
plish by degrees that which her husband would 
carry by storm. 

"You've been at Asquith some time, Crocker," 
Mr. Cooke began, "long enough to know the 
people." 

"I know some of them," I said guardedly 
But the rush was not to be stemmed. 



56 The Celebrity 

"How many do you think you can muster 
for that entertainment of mine? Fifty? I 
ought to have fifty, at least. Suppose you pick 
out fifty, and send me up the names. I want 
good lively ones, you understand, that will stir 
things up." 

" I am afraid there are not fifty of that kind 
there," I replied. 

His face fell, but brightened again instantly. 
He appealed to the Celebrity. 

" How about it, old man ? " said he. 

The Celebrity answered, with becoming mod 
esty, that the Asquithians were benighted. 
They had never had any one to show them how 
to enjoy life. But there was hope for them. 

"That's it," exclaimed my client, slapping his 
thigh, and turning triumphantly to me, he con 
tinued, "You Ye all right, Crocker, and know 
enough to win a damned big suit, but you're 
not the man to steer a delicate thing of this 
kind." 

This is how, to my infinite relief, the Celeb 
rity came to engineer the matter of the house- 
warming ; and to him it was much more 
congenial. He accepted the task cheerfully, 
and went about it in such a manner as to leave 



The Celebrity 57 

no doubt in my mind as to its ultimate success. 
He was a master hand at just such problems, 
and this one had a double attraction. It pleased 
him to be thought the arbiter of such a worthy 
cause, while he acquired a prominence at As- 
quith which satisfied in some part a craving 
which he found inseparable from incognito. 

His tactics were worthy of a skilled diploma 
tist. Before we left Mohair that day he had 
exacted as a condition that Mr. Cooke should 
not appear at the inn or in its vicinity until 
after the entertainment. To this my client 
readily pledged himself with that absolute free 
dom from suspicion which formed one of the 
most admirable traits of his character. The 
Celebrity, being intuitively quick where women 
were concerned, had surmised that Mrs. Cooke 
did not like him ; but as her interests in the 
affair of the cotillon coincided with those of 
Mr. Cooke, she was available as a means to an 
end. The Celebrity deemed her, from a social 
standpoint, decidedly the tetter part of the 
Mohair establishment, and he contrived, by a 
system of manoeuvres I failed to grasp, to throw 
her forward while he kept Mr. Cooke in the 
background. 



58 The Celebrity 

He had much to contend with ; above all, an 
antecedent prejudice against the Cookes, in 
reality a prejudice against the world, the flesh, 
and the devil, natural to any quiet community, 
and of which Mohair and its appurtenances 
were taken as the outward and visible signs. 
Older people came to Asquith for simplicity 
and rest, and the younger ones were brought 
there for these things. Nearly all had sufficient 
wealth to seek, if they chose, gayety and osten 
tation at the eastern resorts. But Asquithians 
held gayety and ostentation at a discount, and 
maintained there was gayety enough at home. 

If any one were fitted to overcome this preju 
dice, it was Mrs. Cooke. Her tastes and man 
ners were as simple as her gowns. The Celeb 
rity, by arts unknown, induced Mrs. Judge 
Short and two other ladies to call at Mohair 
on a certain afternoon when Mr. Cooke was 
trying a trotter on the track. The three re 
turned wondering and charmed with Mrs. Cooke ; 
they were sure she had had no hand in the fur 
nishing of that atrocious house. Their example 
was followed by others at a time when the 
master of Mohair was superintending in person 
the docking of some two-year-olds, and equally 



The Celebrity 59 

invisible. These ladies likewise came back to 
sing Mrs. Cooke's praises. Mrs. Cooke re 
turned the calls. She took tea on the inn 
veranda, and drove Mrs. Short around Mohair 
in her victoria. 

Mr. Cooke being seen only on rare and fleet 
ing occasions, there gradually got abroad a most 
curious misconception of that gentleman's char 
acter, while over his personality floated a mist 
of legend which the Celebrity took good care 
not to dispel. Farrar, who despised nonsense, 
was ironical and non-committal when appealed 
to, and certainly I betrayed none of my client's 
attributes. Hence it came that Asquith, before 
the house-warming, knew as little about Far- 
quhar Fenelon Cooke, the man, as the nineteenth 
century knows about William Shakespeare, and 
was every whit as curious. Like Shakespeare, 
Mr. Cooke was judged by his works, and from 
these he was generally conceded to be an illit 
erate and indifferent person of barbarous tastes 
and a mania for horses. He was further de 
scribed as ungentlemanly by a brace of spin 
sters who had been within earshot on the 
veranda the morning he had abused the As 
quith roads, but their evidence was not looked 



60 The Celebrity 

upon as damning. That Mr. Cooke would 
appear at the cotillon never entered any one's 
head. 

Thus it was, for a fortnight, Mr. Cooke main 
tained a most rigid seclusion. Would that he 
had discovered in the shroud of mystery the 
cloak of fame ! 



CHAPTER V 

IT was small wonder, said the knowing at 
Asquith, that Mr. Charles Wrexell Allen should 
be attracted by Irene Trevor. With the lake 
breezes of the north the red and the tan came 
into her cheeks, those boon companions of the 
open who are best won by the water-winds. 
Perhaps they brought, too, the spring to the 
step and the light under the long lashes when 
she flashed a look across the table. Little by 
little it became plain that Miss Trevor was 
gaining ground with the Celebrity to the neg 
lect of the other young women at Asquith, and 
when it was announced that he was to lead the 
cotillon with her, the fact was regarded as sig 
nificant. Even at Asquith such things were 
talked about. Mr. Allen became a topic and 
a matter of conjecture. He was, I believe, 
generally regarded as a good match ; his unim 
peachable man-servant argued worldly posses 
sions, of which other indications were not 
lacking, while his crest was cited as a mate- 
61 



62 The Celebrity 

rial sign of family. Yet when Miss Brewster, 
one of the brace of spinsters, who hailed from 
Brookline and purported to be an up-to-date 
.edition of the Boston Blue Book, questioned the 
Celebrity on this vital point after the searching 
manner warranted by the gravity of the subject, 
he was unable to acquit himself satisfactorily. 
When this conversation was repeated in detail 
within the hearing of the father of the young 
woman in question, and undoubtedly for his 
benefit, Mr. Trevor threw shame to the winds 
and scandalized the Misses Brewster then and 
there by proclaiming his father to have been 
a country storekeeper. 

In the eyes of Mr. Farquhar Fenelon Cooke 
the apotheosis of the Celebrity was complete. 
The people of Asquith were not only willing 
to attend the house-warming, but had been 
worked up to the pitch of eagerness. The 
Celebrity as a matter of course was master of 
ceremonies. He originated the figures and 
arranged the couples, of which there were 
twelve from Asquith and ten additional young 
women. These ten were assigned to the ten 
young men whom Mr. Cooke expected in his 
private car, and whose appearances, heights, 



The Celebrity 63 

and temperaments the Celebrity obtained from 
Mr. Cooke, carefully noted, and compared with 
those of the young women. Be it said in pass 
ing that Mrs. Cooke had nothing to do with 
any of it, but exhibited an almost criminal in 
difference. Mr. Cooke had even chosen the 
favors ; charity forbids that I should say what 
they were. 

Owing to the frequent consultations which 
these preparations made necessary the Celebrity 
was much in the company of my client, which 
he came greatly to prefer to mine, and I there 
fore abandoned my determination to leave 
Asquith. I was settling down delightedly to 
my old, easy, and unmolested existence when 
Farrar and I received an invitation, which 
amounted to a summons, to go to Mohair and 
make ourselves generally useful. So we packed 
up and went. We made an odd party before 
the arrival of the Ten, particularly when the 
Celebrity dropped in for lunch or dinner. He 
could not be induced to remain permanently 
at Mohair because Miss Trevor was at Asquith, 
but he appropriated a Hempstead cart from 
the Mohair stables and made the trip some 
times twice in a clay. The fact that Mrs. Cooke 



64 The Celebrity 

treated him with unqualified disapproval did 
not dampen his spirits or lessen the frequency 
of his visits, nor, indeed, did it seem to create 
any breach between husband and wife. Mr. 
Cooke took it for granted that his friends 
should not please his wife, and Mrs. Cooke 
remarked to Farrar and me that her husband 
was old enough to know better, and too old to 
be taught. She loved him devotedly and showed 
it in a hundred ways, but she was absolutely 
incapable of dissimulation. 

Thanks to Mrs. Cooke, our visit to Mohair 
was a pleasant one. We were able in many 
ways to help in the arrangements, especially 
Farrar, who had charge of decorating the 
grounds. We saw but little of Mr. Cooke and 
the Celebrity. 

The arrival of the Ten was an event of im 
portance, and occurred the day of the dance. 
I shall treat the Ten as a whole because they 
did not materially differ from one another in 
dress or habits or ambition or general useful 
ness on this earth. It is true that Mr. Cooke 
had been able to make delicate distinctions 
between them for the aid of the Celebrity, but 
such distinctions were beyond me, and the 



The Celebrity 65 

power to make them lay only in a long and 
careful study of the species which I could not 
afford to give. Likewise the life of any one 
of the Ten was the life of all, and might be 
truthfully represented by a single year, since 
each year was exactly like the preceding. The 
ordinary year, as is well-known, begins on the 
first of January. But theirs was not the ordi 
nary year, nor the Church year, nor the fiscal 
year. Theirs began in the Fall with the New 
York Horse Show. And I am of the opinion, 
though open to correction, that they dated from 
the first Horse Show instead of from the birth 
of Christ. It is certain that they were much 
better versed in the history of the Association 
than in that of the Union, in the biography of 
Excelsior rather than that of Lincoln. The 
Dog Show was another event to which they 
looked forward, when they migrated to New 
York and put up at the country places of their 
friends. But why go farther ? 

The Ten made themselves very much at home 
at Mohair. One of them told the Celebrity he 
reminded him very much of a man he had met 
in New York and who had written a book, or 
something of that sort, which made the Celeb- 



66 The Celebrity 

rity wince. The afternoon was spent in one 
of the stable lofts, where Mr. Cooke had set 
up a mysterious L-shaped box, in one arm of 
which a badger was placed by a groom, while 
my client's Sarah, a terrier, was sent into the 
other arm to invite the badger out. His ob 
jections exceeded the highest hopes ; he dug 
his claws into the wood and devoted himself 
to Sarahs countenance with unremitting in 
dustry. This occupation was found so absorb 
ing that it was with difficulty the Ten were 
induced to abandon it and dress for an early 
dinner, and only did so after the second per 
emptory message from Mrs. Cooke. 

"It's always this way," said Mr. Cooke, re 
gretfully, as he watched Sarah licking the acces 
sible furrows in her face ; " I never started in 
on anything worth doing yet that Maria did 
not stop it." 

Farrar and I were not available for the dance, 
and after dinner we looked about for a quiet 
spot in which to weather it, and where we could 
be within reach if needed. Such a place as 
this was the Florentine galleried porch, which 
ran along outside the upper windows of the 
ball-room ; these were flung open, for the night 



The Celebrity 67 

was warm. At one end of the room the musi 
cians, imported from Minneapolis by Mr. Cooke, 
were striking the first discordant notes of the 
tuning, while at the other the Celebrity and 
my client, in scarlet hunting-coats, were gravely 
instructing the Ten, likewise in scarlet hunting- 
coats, as to their conduct and functions. We 
were reviewing these interesting proceedings 
when Mrs. Cooke came hurrying towards us. 
She held a letter in her hand. 

"You know," said she, "that Mr. Cooke is 
forgetful, particularly when his mind is occupied 
with important matters, as it has been for some 
time. Here is a letter from my niece, Miss 
Thorn, which he has carried in his pocket since 
Monday. We expected her two weeks ago, and 
had given her up. But it seems she was to 
leave Philadelphia on Wednesday, and will be 
at that forlorn little station of Asquith at half- 
past nine to-night. I want you two to go over 
and meet her." 

We expressed our readiness, and in ten min 
utes were in the station wagon, rolling rapidly 
down the long drive, for it was then after nine. 
We passed on the way the van of the guests 
from Asquith. As we reached the lodge we 



68 The Celebrity 

heard the whistle, and we backed up against 
one side of the platform as the train pulled 
up at the other. 

Farrar and I are not imaginative ; we did not 
picture to ourselves any particular type for the 
girl we were going to meet, we were simply 
doing our best to get to the station before the 
train. We jumped from the wagon and were 
watching the people file out of the car, and I 
noticed that more than one paused to look back 
over their shoulders as they reached the door. 
Then came a maid with hand-bag and shawls, 
and after her a tall young lady. She stood for 
a moment holding her skirt above the grimy 
steps, with something of the stately pose which 
Richter has given his Queen Louise on the 
stairway, and the light of the reflector fell full 
upon her. She looked around expectantly, and 
recognizing Mrs. Cooke's maid, who had stepped 
forward to relieve hers of the shawls, Miss 
Thorn greeted her with a smile which greatly 
prepossessed us in her favor. 

" How do you do, Jennie ? " she said. " Did 
any one else come?" 

"Yes, Miss Marian," replied Jennie, abashed 
but pleased, " these gentlemen." 



The Celebrity 69 

Farrar and I introduced ourselves, awkwardly 
enough, and we both tried to explain at once 
how it was that neither Mr. nor Mrs. Cooke 
was there to meet her. Of course we made 
an absolute failure of it. She scanned our faces 
with a puzzled expression for a while and then 
broke into a laugh. 

" I think I understand," she said ; " they are 
having the house-warming." 

" She's first-rate at guessing," said Farrar to 
me as we fled precipitately to see that the 
trunks were hoisted into the basket. 

Neither of us had much presence of mind as 
we climbed into the wagon, and, what was even 
stranger, could not account for the lack of it. 
Miss Thorn was seated in the corner ; in spite 
of the darkness I could see that she was laugh- 
ing at us still. 

" I feel very badly that I should have taken 
you away from the dance," we heard her say. 

"We don't dance," I answered clumsily, 
"and we were glad to come." 

" Yes, we were glad to come," Farrar chimed 
in. 

Then we relapsed into a discomfited silence, 
and wished we were anywhere else. But Miss 



70 The Celebrity 

Thorn relieved the situation by laughing aloud, 
and with such a hearty enjoyment that instead 
of getting angry and more mortified we began 
to laugh ourselves, and instantly felt better. 
After that we got along famously. She had at 
once the air of good fellowship and the dignity 
of a woman, and she seemed to understand Far- 
rar and me perfectly. Not once did she take us 
over our heads, though she might have done so 
with ease, and we knew this and were thankful. 
We began to tell her about Mohair and the 
cotillon, and of our point of observation from 
the Florentine galleried porch, and she insisted 
she would join us there. By the time we 
reached the house we were thanking our stars 
she had come. Mrs. Cooke came out under the 
port-cochere to welcome her. 

" Unfortunately there is no one to dance with 
you, Marian," she said; "but if I had not by 
chance gone through your uncle's pockets, there 
would have been no one to meet you." 

I think I had never felt my deficiency in. 
dancing until that moment. But Miss Thorn 
took her aunt's hand affectionately in hers. 

"My dear Aunt Maria," said she, "I would 
not dance to-night if there were twenty to choose 



The Celebrity 71 

from. I should like nothing better than to look 
on with these two. We are the best of friends 
already," she added, turning towards us, "are 
we not ? " 

" We are indeed," we hastened to assure her. 

Mrs. Cooke smiled. 

"You should have been a man, Marian," she 
said as they went upstairs together. 

We made our way to the galleried porch and 
sat down, there being a lull in the figures just 
then. We each took out a cigar and lighted a 
match, and then looked across at the other. We 
solemnly blew our matches out. 

" Perhaps she doesn't like smoke," said Far- 
rar, voicing the sentiment. 

" Perhaps not," said I. 

Silence. 

"I wonder how she will get along with the 
Ten ? " I queried. 

" Better than with us," he answered in his 
usual strain. "They're trained." 

" Or with Allen ? " I added irresistibly. 

" Women are all alike," said Farrar. 

At this juncture Miss Thorn herself appeared 
at the end of the gallery, her shoulders wrapped 
in a gray cape trimmed with fur. She stood 



72 The Celebrity 

regarding us with some amusement as we rose 
to receive her. 

" Light your cigars and be sensible," said she, 
" or I shall go in." 

We obeyed. The three of us turned to the 
window to watch the figure, the music of which 
was just beginning. Mr. Cooke, with the air of 
an English squire at his own hunt ball, was 
strutting contentedly up and down one end of 
the room, now pausing to exchange a few hearty 
words with some Presbyterian matron from 
Asquith, now to congratulate Mr. Trevor on the 
appearance of his daughter. Lined against the 
opposite wall were the Celebrity and his ten 
red-coated followers, just rising for the figure. 
It was very plain that Miss Trevor was radiantly 
happy; she was easily the handsomest girl in 
the room, and I could not help philosophizing 
when I saw her looking up into the Celebrity's 
eyes upon the seeming inconsistency of nature, 
who has armed and warned woman against all 
but her most dangerous enemy. 

And then a curious thing happened. The 
Celebrity, as if moved by a sudden uncontrol 
lable impulse, raised his eyes until they rested 
on the window in which we were. Although his 



The Celebrity 73 

dancing was perfect, he lost the step without 
apparent cause, his expression changed, and for 
the moment he seemed to be utterly confused. 
But only for the moment ; in a trice he had 
caught the time again and swept Miss Trevor 
rapidly down the room and out of sight. I 
looked instinctively at the girl beside me. She 
had thrown her head forward, and in the stream 
ing light I saw that her lips were parted in a 
smile. 

I resolved upon a stroke. 

"Mr. Allen," I remarked, "leads admirably." 

" Mr. Allen ! " she exclaimed, turning on me. 

"Yes, it is Mr. Allen who is leading," I 
repeated. 

An expression of perplexity spread over her 
face, but she said nothing. My curiosity was 
aroused to a high pitch, and questions were ris 
ing to my lips which I repressed with difficulty. 
For Miss Thorn had displayed, purposely or not, 
a reticence which my short acquaintance with 
her compelled me to respect ; and, besides, I 
was bound by a promise not to betray the 
Celebrity's secret. I was, however, convinced 
from what had occurred that she had met the 
Celebrity in the East, and perhaps known him 



74 The Celebrity 

Had she fallen in love with him, as was the 
common fate of all young women he met ? I 
changed my opinion on this subject a dozen 
times. Now I was sure, as I looked at her, that 
she was far too sensible ; again, a doubt would 
cross my mind as the Celebrity himself would 
cross my view, the girl on his arm reduced to 
adoration. I followed him narrowly when in 
sight. Miss Thorn was watching him, too, her 
eyes half closed, as though in thought. But 
beyond the fact that he threw himself into the 
dance with a somewhat increased fervor, perhaps, 
his manner betokened no uneasiness, and not 
even by a glance did he betray any disturbing 
influence from above. 

Thus we stood silently until the figure was 
finished, when Miss Thorn seated herself in one 
of the wicker chairs behind us. 

"Doesn't it make you wish to dance?" said 
Farrar to her. " It is hard luck you should be 
doomed to spend the evening with two such 
useless fellows as we are." 

She did not catch his remark at first, as was 
natural in a person preoccupied. Then she bit 
her lips to repress a smile. 

"I assure you, Mr. Farrar," she said with 



The Celebrity 75 

force, " I have never in my life wished to dance 
as little as I do now." 

But a voice interrupted her, and the scarlet 
coat of the Celebrity was thrust into the light 
between us. Farrar excused himself abruptly 
and disappeared. 

" Never wished to dance less ! " cried the 
Celebrity. " Upon my word, Miss Thorn, that's 
too bad. I came up to ask you to reconsider 
your determination, as one of the girls from 
Asquith is leaving, and there is an extra man." 

" You are very kind," said Miss Thorn, quietly, 
"but I prefer to remain here." 

My surmise, then, was correct. She had evi 
dently met the Celebrity, and there was that in 
his manner of addressing her, without any for 
mal greeting, which seemed to point to a close 
acquaintance. 

"You know Mr. Allen, then, Miss Thorn?" 
said I. 

"What can you mean ?" she exclaimed, wheel 
ing on me ; " this is not Mr. Allen." 

"Hang you, Crocker," the Celebrity put in 
impatiently ; " Miss Thorn knows who I am as 
well as you do." 

" I confess it is a little puzzling," said she ; 



76 The Celebrity 

" perhaps it is because I am tired from travelling, 
and my brain refuses to work. But why in the 
name of all that is strange do you call him Mr. 
Allen?" 

The Celebrity threw himself into the chair 
beside her and asked permission to light a 
cigarette. 

" I am going to ask you the favor of respect 
ing my incognito, Miss Thorn, as Crocker has 
done," he said. "Crocker knew me in the East, 
too. I had not counted upon finding him at 
Asquith." 

Miss Thorn straightened herself and made a 
gesture of impatience. 

"An incognito !" she cried. "But you have 
taken another man's name. And you already 
had his face and figure !" 

I jumped. 

" That is so," he calmly returned ; " the name 
was ready to hand, and so I took it. I don't 
imagine it will make any difference to him. It's 
only a whim of mine, and with me there's no 
accounting for a whim. I make it a point to 
gratify every one that strikes me. I confess to 
being eccentric, you know." 

" You must get an enormous amount of grati- 



The Celebrity 77 

fication out of this," she said dryly. "What if 
the other man should happen along ? " 

"Scarcely at Asquith." 

"I have known stranger things to occur," 
said she. 

The Celebrity smiled and smoked. 

" I'll wager, now," he went on, "that you little 
thought to find me here incognito. But it is 
delicious, I assure you, to lead once more a com 
monplace and unmolested existence." 

" Delightful," said Miss Thorn. 

" People never consider an author apart from 
his work, you know, and I confess I had a desire 
to find out how I would get along. And there 
comes a time when a man wishes he had never 
written a book, and a longing to be sought after 
for his own sake and to be judged on his own 
merits. And then it is a great relief to feel that 
one is not at the beck and call of any one and 
every one wherever one goes, and to know that 
one is free to choose one's own companions and 
do as one wishes." 

" The sentiment is good," Miss Thorn agreed, 
" very good. But doesn't it seem a little odd, 
Mr. Crocker," she continued, appealing to me, 
" that a man should take the pains to advertise 



78 The Celebrity 

a trip to Europe in order to gratify a whim of 
this sort ? " 

" It is indeed incomprehensible to me," I re 
plied, with a kind of grim pleasure, "but you 
must remember that I have always led a com 
monplace existence." 

Although the Celebrity was almost impervious 
to sarcasm, he was now beginning to exhibit 
visible signs of uneasiness, the consciousness 
dawning upon him that his eccentricity was not 
receiving the ovation it merited. It was with a 
palpable relief that he heard the first warning 
notes of the figure. 

" Am I to understand that you wish me to do 
my part in concealing your identity?" asked 
Miss Thorn, cutting him short as he was ex 
pressing pleasure at her arrival. 

"If you will be so kind," he answered, and 
departed with a bow. 

There was a mischievous mirth in her eye as 
she took her place in the window. Below in the 
ball-room sat Miss Trevor surrounded by men, 
and I saw her face lighting at the Celebrity's 
approach. 

"Who is that beautiful girl he is dancing 
with ? " said Miss Thorn. 



The Celebrity 79 

I told her. 

" Have you read his books ? " 4 she asked, after 
a pause. 

" Some of them." 

" So have I." 

The Celebrity was not mentioned again that 
evening. 



CHAPTER VI 

As an endeavor to unite Mohair and Asquith 
the cotillon had proved a dismal failure. They 
were as the clay and the brass. The next 
morning Asquith was split into factions and 
rent by civil strife, and the porch of the inn 
was covered by little knots of women, all trying 
to talk at once ; their faces told an ominous tale. 
Not a man was to be seen. The Minneapolis, 
St. Paul, and Chicago papers, all of which had 
previously contained elaborate illustrated ac 
counts of Mr. Cooke's palatial park and resi 
dence, came out that morning bristling with 
headlines about the ball, incidentally holding up 
the residents of a quiet and retiring little com 
munity in a light that scandalized them beyond 
measure. And Mr. Charles Wrexell Allen, 
treasurer of the widely known Miles Standish 
Bicycle Company, was said to have led the cotil 
lon in a manner that left nothing to be desired. 

So it was this gentleman whom the Celebrity 
was personating ! A queer whim indeed. 
80 



The Celebrity 8 1 

After that, I doubt if the court of Charles the 
Second was regarded by the Puritans with a 
greater abhorrence than was Mohair by the good 
ladies of Asquith. Mr. Cooke and his ten 
friends were branded as profligates whose very 
scarlet coats bore witness that they were of the 
devil. Mr. Cooke himself, who particularly 
savored of brimstone, would much better have 
remained behind the arras, for he was denounced 
with such energy and bitterness that those who 
might have attempted his defence were silent, 
and their very silence told against them. Mr. 
Cooke had indeed outdone himself in hospitality. 
He had posted punch-bowls in every available 
corner, and so industriously did he devote him 
self to the duties of host, as he conceived them, 
that as many as four of the patriarchs of Asquith 
and pillars of the church had returned home 
more or less insensible, while others were quite 
incoherent. The odds being overwhelming, the 
master of Mohair had at length fallen a victim 
to his own good cheer. He took post with 
Judge Short at the foot of the stair, where, in 
spite of the protests of the Celebrity and of 
other well-disposed persons, the two favored the 
parting guests with an occasional impromptu 



82 The Celebrity 

song and waved genial good-byes to the ladies. 
And, when Mrs. Short attempted to walk by 
with her head in the air, as though the judge 
were in an adjoining county, he so far forgot his 
judicial dignity as to chuck her under the chin, 
an act which was applauded with much boyish 
delight by Mr. Cooke, and a remark which it is 
just as well not to repeat. The judge desired to 
spend the night at Mohair, but was afterwards 
taken home by main force, and the next day his 
meals were brought up to him. It is small 
wonder that Mrs. Short was looked upon as the 
head of the outraged party. The Ten were only 
spoken of in whispers. Three of them had been 
unable to come to time when the last figure was 
called, whereupon their partners were whisked 
off the scene without so much as being allowed 
to pay their respects to the hostess. Besides 
these offences, there were other minor barbar 
isms too numerous to mention. 

Although Mrs. Short's party was ail-powerful 
at Asquith, there were some who, for various 
reasons, refused to agree in the condemnation of 
Mr. Cooke. Judge Short and the other gentle 
men in his position were, of course, restricted, 
but Mr. Trevor came out boldly in the face of 



The Celebrity 83 

severe criticism and declared that his daughter 
should accept any invitation from Mrs* Cooke 
that she chose, and paid but little attention to 
the coolness resulting therefrom. He was fast 
getting a reputation for oddity. And the Ce, 
lebrity tried to conciliate both parties, and suc 
ceeded, though none but he could have done it. 
At first he was eyed with suspicion and disgust 
as he drove off to Mohair in his Hempstead cart, 
and was called many hard names. But he had a 
way about him which won them in the end. 

A few days later I ran over to Mohair and 
found my client with the colored Sunday supple 
ment of a Chicago newspaper spread out before 
him, eyeing the page with something akin to 
childish delight. I discovered that it was a 
picture of his own hunt ball, and as a bit of 
color it was marvellous, the scarlet coats being 
very much in evidence. 

"There, old man!" he exclaimed. "What 
do you think of that ? Something of a send- 
off, eh?" And he pointed to a rather stout 
and important gentleman in the foreground. 
"That's me!" he said proudly, "and they 
wouldn't do that for Farquhar Fenelon Cooke 
in Philadelphia." 



84 The Celebrity 

"A prophet is without honor in his own 
country," I remarked. 

" I don't set up for a prophet," said Mr. Cooke, 
" but I did predict that I would start a ripple 
here, didn't I?" 

I did not deny this. 

" How do I stand over there ? " he inquired, 
designating Asquith by a twist of the head. 
"I hear they're acting all over the road; that 
they think I'm the very devil." 

"Well, your stock has dropped some, I 
admit," I answered. "They didn't take kindly 
to your getting the judge drunk, you know." 

"They oughtn't to complain about that," 
said my client ; " and besides, he wasn't drunk 
enough to amount to anything." 

"However that may be," said I, "you have 
the credit for leading him astray. But there 
is a split in your favor." 

" I'm glad to know that," he said, brighten 
ing; "then I won't have to import any more." 

"Any more what?" I asked. 

" People from the East to keep things moving, 
of course. What I have here and those left me 
at the inn ought to be enough to run through 
the summer with. Don't you think so ? " 



The Celebrity 85 

I thought so, and was moving off when he 
called me back. 

" Is the judge locked up, old man ? " he de 
manded. 

"He's under rather close surveillance," I 
replied, smiling. 

" Crocker," he said confidentially, " see if you 
can't smuggle him over here some day soon. 
The judge always holds good cards, and plays 
a number one hand." 

I promised, and escaped. On the veranda 
I came upon Miss Thorn surrounded by some 
of her uncle's guests. I imagine that she was 
bored, for she looked it. 

"Mr. Crocker," she called out, "you're just 
the man I have been wishing to see." 

The others naturally took this for a dismis 
sal, and she was not long in coming to her 
point when we were alone. 

" What is it you know about this queer but 
gifted genius who is here so mysteriously ?" she 
asked. 

" Nothing whatever," I confessed. "I knew 
him before he thought of becoming a genius." 

"Retrogression is always painful," she said; 
"but tell me something about him then." 



86 The Celebrity 

I told her all I knew, being that narrated 
in these pages. "Now," said I, "if you will 
pardon a curiosity on my part, from what you 
said the other evening I inferred that he closely 
resembles the man whose name it pleased him 
to assume. And that man, I learn from the 
newspapers, is Mr. Charles Wrexell Allen of 
the ' Miles Standish Bicycle Company.' " 

Miss Thorn made a comic gesture of despair. 

" Why he chose Mr. Allen's name," she said, 
"is absolutely beyond my guessing. Unless 
there is some purpose behind the choice, which 
I do not for an instant believe, it was a foolish 
thing to do, and one very apt to lead to difficul 
ties. I can understand the rest. He has a 
reputation for eccentricity which he feels he 
must keep up, and this notion of assuming a 
name evidently appealed to him as an inspira 
tion." 

" But why did he come out here ? " I asked. 
"Can you tell me that?" 

Miss Thorn flushed slightly, and ignored the 
question. 

" I met the ' Celebrity,' as you call him," she 
said, "for the first time last winter, and I saw 
him frequently during the season. Of course 



The Celebrity 87 

I had heard not a little about him and his 
peculiarities. His name seems to have gone 
the length and breadth of the land. And, like 
most girls, I had read his books and confess 
I enjoyed them. It is not too much to say," 
she added archly, "that I made a sort of 
archangel out of the author." 

"I can understand that," said I. 

"But that did not last," she continued 
hastily. " I see I have got beside my story. 
I saw a great deal of him in New York. He 
came to call, and I believe I danced with him 
once or twice. And then my aunt, Mrs. Rivers, 
bought a place near Epsom, in Massachusetts, 
and had a house party there in May. And the 
Celebrity was invited." 

I smiled. 

"Oh, I assure you it was a mere chance," 
said Miss Thorn. " I mention this that I may 
tell you the astonishing part of it all. Epsom 
is one of those smoky manufacturing towns one 
sees in New England, and the ' Miles Standish ' 
bicycle is made there. The day after we all 
arrived at my aunt's a man came up the drive 
on a wheel whom I greeted in a friendly way 
and got a decidedly uncertain bow in retura 



88 The Celebrity 

I thought it rather a strange shift from a 
marked cordiality, and spoke of the circum 
stance to my aunt, who was highly amused. 
' Why, my dear,' said she, ' that was Mr. Allen, 
of the bicycle company. I was nearly deceived 
myself.' " 

" And is the resemblance so close as that ? " 
I exclaimed. 

" So close ! Believe me, they are as like as 
two ices from a mould. Of course, when they 
are together one can distinguish the Celebrity 
from the bicycle man. The Celebrity's chin 
is a little more square, and his nose straighter, 
and there are other little differences. I believe 
Mr. Allen has a slight scar on his forehead. 
But the likeness was remarkable, nevertheless, 
and it grew to be a standing joke with us. 
They actually dressed ludicrously alike. The 
Celebrity became so sensitive about it that he 
went back to New York before the party broke 
up. We grew to be quite fond of the bicycle 
man." 

She paused and shifted her chair, which had 
rocked close to mine. 

"And can you account for his coming to 
Asquith?" I asked innocently. 



The Celebrity 89 

She was plainly embarrassed. 

" I suppose I might account for it, Mr. 
Crocker," she replied. Then she added, with 
something of an impulse, " After all, it is fool 
ish of me not to tell you. You probably know 
the Celebrity well enough to have learned that 
he takes idiotic fancies to young women." 

"Not always idiotic," I protested. 

"You mean that the young women are not 
always idiotic, I suppose. No, not always, but 
nearly always. I imagine he got the idea of 
coming to Asquith," she went on with a change 
of manner, " because I chanced to mention that 
I was coming out here on a visit." 

"Oh," I remarked, and there words failed 
me. 

Her mouth was twitching with merriment. 

"I am afraid you will have to solve the rest 
of it for yourself, Mr. Crocker," said she ; " that 
is all of my contribution. My uncle tells me 
you are the best lawyer in the country, and 
I am surprised that you are so slow in getting 
at motives." 

And I did attempt to solve it on my way 
back to Asquith. The conclusion I settled to, 
everything weighed, was this : that the Celeb- 



90 The Celebrity 

rity had become infatuated with Miss Thorn 
(I was far from blaming him for that) and had 
followed her first to Epsom and now to Asquith. 
And he had chosen to come West incognito 
partly through the conceit which he admitted 
and gloried in, and partly because he believed 
his prominence sufficient to obtain for him an 
unpleasant notoriety if he continued long enough 
to track the same young lady about the country. 
Hence he had taken the trouble to advertise 
a trip abroad to account for his absence. Un 
doubtedly his previous conquests had been made 
more easily, for my second talk with Miss Thorn 
had put my mind at rest as to her having fallen 
a victim to his fascinations. Her arrival at 
Mohair being delayed, the Celebrity had come 
nearly a month too soon, and in the interval 
that tendency of which he was the dupe still 
led him by the nose; he must needs make 
violent love to the most attractive girl on the 
ground, Miss Trevor. Now that one still 
more attractive had arrived I was curious to 
see how he would steer between the two, for I 
made no doubt that matters had progressed 
rather far with Miss Trevor. And in this I 
was not mistaken. 



The Celebrity 91 

But his choice of the name of Charles 
Wrexell Allen bothered me considerably. I 
finally decided that he had taken it because 
convenient, and because he believed Asquith 
to be more remote from the East than the 
Sandwich Islands. 

Reaching the inn grounds, I climbed the hill 
side to a favorite haunt of mine, a huge boulder 
having a sloping back covered with soft turf. 
Hence I could watch indifferently both lake 
and sky. Presently, however, I was aroused 
by voices at the foot of the rock, and peering 
over the edge I discovered a kind of sewing- 
circle gathered there. The foliage hid me 
completely. I perceived the Celebrity perched 
upon the low branch of an apple-tree, and Miss 
Trevor below him, with two other girls, doing 
fancy-work, I shall not attempt to defend the 
morality of my action, but I could not get away 
without discovery, and the knowledge that I 
had heard a part of their conversation might 
prove disquieting to them. 

The Celebrity had just published a book, 
under the title of The Sybarites, which was be 
ing everywhere discussed ; and Asquith, where 
summer reading was general, came in for its 



92 77/i? Celebrity 

share of the debate. Why it was called The 
Sybarites I have never discovered. I did not 
read the book because I was sick and tired of 
the author and his nonsense, but I imbibed, in 
spite of myself, something of the story and its 
moral from hearing it talked about. The Celeb 
rity himself had listened to arguments on the 
subject with great serenity, and was nothing 
loth to give his opinion when appealed to. I 
realized at once that The Sybarites was the 
present topic. 

"Yes, it is rather an uncommon book," he 
was saying languidly, "but there is no use 
writing a story unless it is uncommon." 

" Dear, how I should like to meet the author! " 
exclaimed a voice. "He must be a charming 
man, and so young, too ! I believe you said 
you knew him, Mr. Allen." 

" An old acquaintance," he answered, " and I 
am always reminding him that his work is over 
estimated." 

" How can you say he is overestimated ! " 
said a voice. 

"You men are all jealous of him," said 
another. 

"Is he handsome? I have heard he is." 



The Celebrity 93 

"He would scarcely be called so," said the 
Celebrity, doubtfully. 

"He is, girls," Miss Trevor interposed ; "I 
have seen his photograph." 

"What does he look like, Irene?" they cho- 
russed, "Men are no judges." 

" He is tall, and dark, and broad-shouldered," 
Miss Trevor enumerated, as though counting 
her stitches, " and he has a very firm chin, and 
a straight nose, and " 

"Perfect!" they cried. "I had an idea he 
was just like that. I should go wild about him. 
Does he talk as well as he writes, Mr. Allen ? " 

"That is admitting that he writes well." 

" Admitting ? " they shouted scornfully, " and 
don't you admit it ? " 

" Some people like his writing, I have to con- 
fess," said the Celebrity, with becoming calm 
ness ; " certainly his personality could not sell 
an edition of thirty thousand in a month. I 
think The Sybarites the best of his works." 

"Upon my word, Mr. Allen, I am disgusted 
with you," said the second voice ; " I have not 
found a man yet who would speak a good word 
for him. But I did not think it of you." 

A woman's tongue, like a firearm, is a danger- 



94 The Celebrity 

ous weapon, and often strikes where it is least 
expected. I saw with a wicked delight that the 
shot had told, for the Celebrity blushed to the 
roots of his hair, while Miss Trevor dropped 
three or four stitches. 

" I do not see how you can expect men to like 
The Sybarites" she said, with some heat ; " very 
few men realize or care to realize what a small 
chance the average woman has. I know mar 
riage isn't a necessary goal, but most women, as 
well as most men, look forward to it at some 
time of life, and, as a rule, a woman is forced to 
take her choice of the two or three men that 
offer themselves, no matter what they are. I 
admire a man who takes up the cudgels for 
women, as he has done." 

"Of course we admire him," they cried, as 
soon as Miss Trevor had stopped for breath. 

" And can you expect a man to like a book 
which admits that women are the more con 
stant ? " she went on. 

" Why, Irene, you are quite rabid on the sub 
ject," said the second voice ; " I did not say I 
expected it. I only said I had hoped to find 
Mr. Allen, at least, broad enough to agree with 
the book." 



The Celebrity 95 

"Doesn't Mr. Allen remind you a little of 
Desmond?" asked the first voice, evidently 
anxious to avoid trouble. 

" Do you know whom he took for Desmond, 
Mr. Allen ? I have an idea it was himself." 

Mr. Allen had now recovered some of his 
composure. 

" If so, it was done unconsciously," he said. 
" I suppose an author must put his best thoughts 
in the mouth of his hero." 

" But it is like him ? " she insisted. 

"Yes, he holds the same views." 

"Which you do not agree with." 

" I have not said I did not agree with them," 
he replied, taking up his own defence ; " the 
point is not that men are more inconstant than 
women, but that women have more excuse for 
inconstancy. If I remember correctly, Des 
mond, in a letter to Rosamond, says : ' Incon 
stancy in a woman, because of the present 
social conditions, is often pardonable. In a 
man, nothing is more despicable.' I think that 
is so. I believe that a man should stick by the 
woman to whom he has given his word as 
closely as he sticks by his friends." 

"Ah!" exclaimed the aggressive second 



96 The Celebrity 

voice, "that is all very well. But how about 
the woman to whom he has not given his 
word? Unfortunately, the present social con 
ditions allow a man to go pretty far without a 
definite statement." 

At this I could not refrain from looking at 
Miss Trevor. She was bending over her knit 
ting and had broken her thread. 

" It is presumption for a man to speak with 
out some foundation," said the Celebrity, "and 
wrong unless he is sure of himself." 

" But you must admit," the second voice con 
tinued, " that a man has no right to amuse him 
self with a woman, and give her every reason to 
believe he is going to marry her save the only 
manly and substantial one. And yet that is 
something which happens every day. What 
do you think of a man who deserts a woman 
under those conditions ? " 

"He is a detestable dog, of course," declared 
the Celebrity. 

And the cock in the inn yard was silent. 

"I should love to be able to quote from a 
book at will," said the quieting voice, for the 
sake of putting an end to an argument which 
bid fair to become disagreeable. " How do you 
manage to do it ? " 



The Celebrity 97 

"It was simply a passage that stuck in my 
mind," he answered modestly ; " when I read 
a book I pick them up just as a roller picks up 
a sod here and there as it moves over the lawn." 

" I should think you might write, Mr. Allen, 
you have such an original way of putting 
things!" 

"I have thought of it," returned the Celeb 
rity, " and I may, some fine day." 

Wherewith he thrust his hands into his 
pockets and sauntered off with equanimity un 
disturbed, apparently unaware of the impression 
he had left behind him. And the Fifth Reader 
story popped into my head of good King Wil 
liam (or King Frederick, I forgot which), who 
had a royal fancy for laying aside the gayeties 
of the court and straying incognito among his 
plainer subjects, but whose princely origin was 
invariably detected in spite of any disguise his 
Majesty could invent. 
H 



CHAPTER VII 

I EXPERIENCED a great surprise a few morn- 
ings afterwards. I had risen quite early, and 
found the Celebrity's man superintending the 
hoisting of luggage on top of a van. 

" Is your master leaving ? " I asked. 

" He's off to Mohair now, sir," said the valet, 
with a salute. 

At that instant the Celebrity himself ap 
peared. 

"Yes, old chap, I'm off to Mohair," he ex 
plained. "There's more sport in a day up there 
than you get here in a season. Beastly slow 
place, this, unless one is a deacon or a doctor 
of divinity. Why don't you come up, Crocker ? 
Cooke would like nothing better; he has told 
me so a dozen times." 

"He is very good," I replied. I could not 
resist the temptation to add, "I had an idea 
Asquith rather suited your purposes just now." 

"I don't quite understand," he said, jumping 
at the other half of my meaning. 
98 



The Celebrity 99 

"Oh, nothing. But you told me when you 
came here, if I am not mistaken, that you 
chose Asquith because of those very qualities 
for which you now condemn it." 

" Magna est vis consuetudinis" he laughed ; 
"I thought I could stand the life, but I can't. 
I am tired of their sects and synods and ser 
mons. By the way," said he pulling at my 
sleeve, "what a deuced pretty girl that Miss 
Thorn is ! Isn't she ? Rollins, where's the 
cart ? Well, good-bye, Crocker ; see you soon." 

He drove rapidly off as the clock struck six, 
and an uneasy glance he gave the upper win 
dows did not escape me. When Farrar ap 
peared, I told him what had happened. 

" Good riddance," he replied sententiously. 

We sat in silence until the bell rang, looking 
at the morning sun on the lake. I was a little 
anxious to learn the state of Farrar's feelings in 
regard to Miss Trevor, and how this new twist 
in affairs had affected them. But I might as 
well have expected one of King Louis's carp to 
whisper secrets of the old regime. The young 
lady came to the breakfast-table looking so 
fresh and in such high spirits that I made sure 
she had not heard of the Celebrity's ignoble 



ioo The Celebrity 

escape. As the meal proceeded it was easy to 
mark that her eye now and again fell across his 
empty chair, and glanced inquiringly towards 
the door. I made up my mind that I would 
not be the bearer of evil news, and so did Far- 
rar, so we kept up a vapid small-talk with Mr. 
Trevor on the condition of trade in the West. 
Miss Trevor, however, in some way came to 
suspect that we could account for that vacant 
seat. At last she fixed her eye inquiringly on 
me, and I trembled. 

" Mr. Crocker," she began, and paused. Then 
she added with a fair unconcern, " do you hap 
pen to know where Mr. Allen is this morning ? " 

"He has gone over to Mohair, I believe," I 
replied weakly. 

" To Mohair ! " she exclaimed, putting down 
her cup ; " why, he promised to go canoeing at 
ten." 

" Probably he will be back by then," I ven 
tured, not finding it in my heart to tell her the 
cruel truth. But I kept my eyes on my plate. 
They say a lie has short legs. Mine had, for 
my black friend, Simpson, was at that instant 
taking off the fruit, and overheard my remark. 

"Mr. Allen done gone for good," he put in, 



The Celebrity 101 

"done give me five dollars last night. Why, 
sah," he added, scratching his head, "you was 
on de poch dis mornin' when his trunks was 
took away ! " 

It was certainly no time to quibble then. 

" His trunks ! " Miss Trevor exclaimed. 

" Yes, he has left us and gone to Mohair," I 
said, " bag and baggage. That is the flat truth 
of it." 

I suppose there is some general rule for cal 
culating beforehand how a young woman is 
going to act when news of this sort is broken. 
I had no notion of what Miss Trevor would do. 
I believe Farrar thought she would faint, for he 
laid his napkin on the table. She did nothing 
of the kind, but said simply : 

" How unreliable men are ! " 

I fell to guessing what her feelings were ; for 
the life of me I could not tell from her face. I 
was sorry for Miss Trevor in spite of the fact 
that she had neglected to ask my advice before' 
falling in love with the Celebrity. I asked her 
to go canoeing with me. She refused kindly 
but very firmly. 

It is needless to say that the Celebrity did 
not come back to the inn, and as far as I could 



IO2 The Celebrity 

see the desertion was designed, cold-blooded., 
and complete. Miss Trevor remained out of 
sight during the day of his departure, and at 
dinner we noticed traces of a storm about her, 
a storm which had come and gone. There 
was an involuntary hush as she entered the 
dining-room, for Asquith had been buzzing that 
afternoon over the episode. And I admired 
the manner in which she bore her inspection. 
Already rumors of the cause of Mr. Allen's de 
parture were in active circulation, and I was 
astonished to learn that he had been seen that 
day seated upon Indian rock with Miss Thorn 
herself. This piece of news gave me a feeling 
of insecurity about people, and about women in 
particular, that I had never before experienced. 
After holding the Celebrity up to such unmeas 
ured ridicule as she had done, ridicule not with 
out a seasoning of contempt, it was difficult to 
believe Miss Thorn so inconsistent as to go 
alone with him to Indian rock; and she was 
not ignorant of Miss Trevor's experience. But 
the fact was attested by trustworthy persons. 

I have often wondered what prompted me to 
ask Miss Trevor again to go canoeing. To do 
myself justice, it was no wish of mine to meddle 



The Celebrity 103 

with or pry into her affairs. Neither did I 
flatter myself that my poor company would be 
any consolation for that she had lost. I shall 
not try to analyze my motive. Suffice it to 
record that she accepted this second invitation, 
and I did my best to amuse her by relating a 
few of my experiences at the bar, and I told 
that memorable story of Farrar throwing 
O'Meara into the street. We were getting 
along famously, when we descried another 
canoe passing us at some distance, and we both 
recognized the Celebrity at the paddle by the 
flannel jacket of his college boat club. And 
Miss Thorn sat in the bow ! 

"Do you know anything about that man, 
Miss Trevor?" I asked abruptly. 

She grew scarlet, but replied : 

" I know that he is a fraud." 

" Anything else ? " 

" I can't say that I do ; that is, nothing but 
what he has told me." 

"If you will forgive my curiosity," I said, 
" what has he told you ? " 

"He says he is the author of The Syba> 
rites" she answered, her lip curling, "but of 
course I do not believe, that, now." 



IO4 The Celebrity 

"But that happens to be true," I said, smil- 

ing- 
She clapped her hands. 

"I promised him I wouldn't tell," she cried, 
"but the minute I get back to the inn I shall 
publish it." 

" No, don't do that just yet," said I. 

" Why not ? Of course I shall." 

I had no definite reason, only a vague hope 
that we should get some better sort of enjoy 
ment out of the disclosure before the summer 
was over. 

" You see," I said, " he is always getting into 
scrapes ; he is that kind of a man. And it is 
my humble opinion that he has put his head 
into a noose this time, for sure. Mr. Allen, of 
the 'Miles Standish Bicycle Company,' whose 
name he has borrowed for the occasion, is 
enough like him in appearance to be his twin 
brother." 

" He has borrowed another man's name ! " she 
exclaimed ; " why, that's stealing ! " 

" No, merely kleptomania," I replied ; " he 
wouldn't be the other man if he could. But it 
has struck me that the real Mr. Allen might 
turn up here, or some friend of his, and stir 



The Celebrity 105 

things a bit My advice to you is to keep quiet, 
and we may have a comedy worth seeing." 

" Well," she remarked, after she had got over 
a little of her astonishment, " it would be great 
fun to tell, but I won't if you say so." 

: I came to have a real liking for Miss Trevor, 
i^arrar used to smile when I spoke of this, and 
I never could induce him to go out with us in 
the canoe, which we did frequently, in fact, 
every day I was at Asquith, except of course 
Sundays. And we grew to understand each 
other very well. She looked upon me in the 
same light as did my other friends, that of a 
counsellor-at-law, and I fell unconsciously into 
the r61e of her adviser, in which capacity I was 
the recipient of many confidences I would have 
got in no other way. That is, in no other way 
save one, and in that I had no desire to go, 
even had it been possible. Miss Trevor was only 
nineteen, and in her eyes I was at least sixty. 

"See here, Miss Trevor," I said to her one 
day after we had become more or less intimate, 
"of course it's none of my business, but you 
didn't feel very badly after the Celebrity went 
away, did you ? " 

Her reply was frank and rather staggering. 



106 The Celebrity 

"Yes, I did. I was engaged to him, you 
know." 

" Engaged to him ! I had no idea he ever 
got that far," I exclaimed. 

Miss Trevor laughed merrily. 

" It was my fault," she said ; " I pinned him 
down, and he had to propose. There was no 
way out of it. I don't mind telling you." 

I did not know whether to be flattered or 
aggrieved by this avowal. 

"You know," she went on, her tone half 
apologetic, " the day after he came he told me 
who he was, and I wanted to stop the people 
we passed and inform them of the lion I was 
walking with. And I was quite carried away 
by the honor of his attentions : any girl would 
have been, you know." 

" I suppose so," I assented. 

"And I had heard and read so much of him, 
and I doted on his stories, and all that. His 
heroes are divine, you must admit. And, Mr. 
Crocker," she concluded with a charming 
naYvety, "I just made up my mind I would 
have him." 

"Woman proposes, and man disposes," I 
laughed. "He escaped in spite of you." 



The Celebrity 107 

She looked at me queerly. 

"Only a jest," I said hurriedly; "your escape 
is the one to be thankful for. You might have 
married him, like the young woman in The 
Sybarites. You remember, do you not, that 
the hero of that book sacrifices himself for the 
lady who adores him, but whom he has ceased 
to adore ? " 

" Yes, I remember," she laughed ; " I believe 
I know that book by heart." 

"Think of the countless girls he must have 
relieved of their affections before their eyes 
were opened," I continued with mock gravity. 
"Think of the charred trail he has left behind 
him. A man of that sort ought to be put under 
heavy bonds not to break any more hearts. 
But a kleptomaniac isn't responsible, you under 
stand. And it isn't worth while to bear any 
malice." 

" Oh, I don't bear any malice now," she said. 
" I did at first, naturally. But it all seems very 
ridiculous now I have had time to think it over. 
I believe, Mr. Crocker, that I never really cared 
for him." 

"Simply an idol shattered this time," I sug 
gested, " and not a heart broken." 



108 The Celebrity 

"Yes, that's it," said she. 

" I am glad to hear it," said I, much pleased 
that she had taken such a sensible view. " But 
you are engaged to him." 

"I was." 

"You have broken the engagement, then?" 

" No, I haven't," she said. 

" Then he has broken it ? " 

She did not appear to resent this catechism. 

"That's the strange part of it," said Miss 
Trevor, " he hasn't even thought it necessary." 

"It is clear, then, that you are still engaged 
to him," said I, smiling at her blank face. 

" I suppose I am," she cried. " Isn't it awful ? 
What shall I do, Mr. Crocker? You are so 
sensible, and have had so much experience." 

"I beg your pardon," I remarked grimly. 

" Oh, you know what I mean : not that kind 
of experience, of course. But breach of promise 
cases and that sort of thing. I have a photo 
graph of him with something written over it." 

" Something compromising ? " I inquired. 

"Yes, you would probably call it so/' she 
answered, reddening. "But there is no need 
of my repeating it. And then I have a lot of 
other things. If I write to break off the en- 



The Celebrity 109 

gagement I shall lose dignity, and it will appear 
as though I had regrets. I don't wish him to 
think that, of all things. What shall I do ? " 

" Do nothing," I said. 

" What do you mean ? " 

"Just that. Do not break the engagement, 
and keep the photograph and other articles for 
evidence. If he makes any overtures, don't 
consider them for an instant. And I think, 
Miss Trevor, you will succeed sooner or later 
in making him very uncomfortable. Were he 
any one else I shouldn't advise such a course, 
but you won't lose any dignity and self-respect 
by it, as no one will be likely to hear of it. 
He can't be taken seriously, and plainly he has 
never taken any one else so. He hasn't even 
gone to the trouble to notify you that he does 
not intend marrying you." 

I saw from her expression that my suggestion 
was favorably entertained. 

"What a joke it would be!" she cried de 
lightedly. 

"And a decided act of charity," I added, "to 
the next young woman on his list." 



CHAPTER VIII 

THE humor of my proposition appealed more 
strongly to Miss Trevor than I had looked for, 
and from that time forward she became her 
old self again ; for, even after she had conquered 
her love for the Celebrity, the mortification of 
having been jilted by him remained. Now she 
had come to look upon the matter in its true 
proportions, and her anticipation of a possible 
chance of teaching him a lesson was a pleasure 
to behold. Our table in the dining-room be 
came again the abode of scintillating wit and 
caustic repartee, Farrar bracing up to his old 
standard, and the demand for seats in the 
vicinity rose to an animated competition. Mr. 
Charles Wrexell Allen's chair was finally awarded 
to a nephew of Judge Short, who could turn a 
story to perfection. 

So life at the inn settled down again to what 
it had been before the Celebrity came to dis 
turb it. 

I had my own reasons for staying away from 
Mohair. More than once as I drove over to 
no 



The Celebrity in 

the county-seat in my buggy I had met the 
Celebrity on a tall tandem cart, with one of 
Mr. Cooke's high-steppers in the lead, and Miss 
Thorn in the low seat. I had forgotten to 
mention that my friend was something of a 
whip. At such times I would bow very civilly 
and pass on ; not without a twinge, I confess. 
And as the result of one of these meetings I 
had to retrace several miles of my road for a 
brief I had forgotten. After that I took another 
road, several miles longer, for the sight of Miss 
Thorn with him seriously disturbed my peace 
of mind. 

But at length the day came, as I had feared, 
when circumstances forced me to go to my 
client's place. One morning Miss Trevor and 
I were about stepping into the canoe for our 
customary excursion when one of Mr. Cooke's 
footmen arrived with a note for each of us. 
They were from Mrs. Cooke, and requested 
the pleasure of our company that day for 
luncheon. 

" If you were I, would you go ? " Miss Trevor 
asked doubtfully. 

"Of course," I replied. 

" But the consequences may be unpleasant." 



112 The Celebrity 

"Don't let them," I said. "Of what use is 
tact to a woman if not for just such occasions ? " 

My invitation had this characteristic note 
tacked on the end of it: 

" DEAR CROCKER : Where are you ? Where 
is the judge ? F. F. C." 

I corralled the judge, and we started off across 
the fields, in no very mild state of fear of that 
gentleman's wife, whose vigilance was seldom 
relaxed. And thus we came by a circuitous 
route to Mohair, the judge occupied by his own 
guilty thoughts, and I by others not less dis 
turbing. My client welcomed the judge with 
that warmth of manner which grappled so many 
of his friends to his heart, and they disappeared 
together into the Ethiopian card-room, which 
was filled with the assegais and exclamation- 
point shields Mr. Cooke had had made at the 
Sawmill at Beaverton. 

I learned from one of the lords-in-waiting 
loafing about the hall that Mrs. Cooke was out 
on the golf links, chaperoning some of the 
Asquith young women whose mothers had not 
seen fit to ostracize Mohair. Mr. Cooke's ten 
friends were with them. But this discreet and 



The Celebrity 113 

dignified servant could not reveal the where 
abouts of Miss Thorn and of Mr. Allen, both 
of whom I was decidedly anxious to avoid. I 
was much disgusted, therefore, to come upon 
the Celebrity in the smoking-room, writing 
rapidly, with sheets of manuscript piled beside 
him. And he was quite good-natured over my 
intrusion. 

"No," said he, "don't go. It's only a short 
story I promised for a Christmas number. They 
offered me fifteen cents a word and promised to 
put my name on the cover in red, so I couldn't 
very well refuse. It's no inspiration, though, I 
tell you that." He rose and pressed a bell 
behind him and ordered whiskeys and ginger 
ales, as if he were in a hotel. "Sit down, 
Crocker," he said, waving me to a morocco 
chair. "Why don't you come over to see us 
oftener?" 

" I've been quite busy," I said. 

This remark seemed to please him immensely. 

"What a sly old chap you are," said he; 
" really, I shall have to go back to the inn and 
watch you." 

"What the deuce do you mean?" I de 
manded. 
i 



114 The Celebrity 

He looked me over in well-bred astonishment 
and replied : 

" Hang me, Crocker, if I can make you out. 
You seem to know the world pretty well, and 
yet when a fellow twits you on a little flirtation 
you act as though you were going to black his 
eyes." 

" A little flirtation ! " I repeated, aghast. 

"Oh, well," he said, smiling, " we won't quar 
rel over a definition. Call it anything you 
like." 

" Don't you think this a little uncalled for ? " 
I asked, beginning to lose my temper. 

" Bless you, no. Not among friends : not 
among such friends as we are." 

"I didn't know we were such devilish good 
friends," I retorted warmly. 

"Oh, yes, we are, devilish good friends," he 
answered with assurance ; " known each other 
from boyhood, and all that. And I say, old 
chap," he added, "you needn't be jealous of me, 
you know. I got out of that long ago. And 
I'm after something else now." 

For a space I was speechless. Then the 
ludicrous side of the matter struck me, and I 
laughed in spite of myself. Better, after all, to 



The Celebrity 115 

deal with a fool according to his folly. The 
Celebrity glanced at the door and drew his chair 
closer to mine. 

" Crocker," he said confidentially, " I'm glad 
you came here to-day. There is a thing or two 
I wished to consult you about." 

" Professional ? " I asked, trying to head him 
off. 

"No," he replied, "amateur, beastly ama 
teur. A bungle, if I ever made one. The truth 
is, I executed rather a faux pas over there at 
Asquith. Tell me," said he, diving desperately 
at the root of it, "how does Miss Trevor feel 
about my getting out ? I meant to let her down 
easier; 'pon my word, I did." 

This is a way rascals have of judging other 
men by themselves. 

"Well," said I, "it was rather a blow, of 
course." 

" Of course," he assented. 

" And all the more unexpected," I went on, 
"from a man who has written reams on con 
stancy." 

I flatter myself that this nearly struck home, 
for he was plainly annoyed. 

"Oh, bother that!" said he. "How many 



Ii6 The Celebrity 

gowns believe in their own sermons ? How 
many lawyers believe in their own arguments?" 

"Unhappily, not as many as might." 

" I don't object to telling you, old chap," he 
continued, "that I went in a little deeper than 
I intended. A good deal deeper, in fact. Miss 
Trevor is a deuced fine girl, and all that ; but 
absolutely impossible. I forgot myself, and I 
confess I was pretty close to caught." 

" I congratulate you," I said gravely. 

"That's the point of it. I don't know that 
I'm out of the woods yet. I wanted to see you 
and find out how she was acting." 

My first impulse was to keep him in hot 
water. Fortunately I thought twice. 

" I don't know anything about Miss Trevor's 
feelings " I began. 

" Naturally not " he interrupted, with a smile. 

" But I have a notion that, if she ever fancied 
you, she doesn't care a straw for you to-day." 

"Doesn't she now," he replied somewhat 
regretfully. Here was one of the knots in his 
character I never could untie. 

"Understand, that is simply my guess," I 
said. "You must have discovered that it is 
never possible to be sure of a woman's feelings." 



The Celebrity 117 

"Found that out long ago," he replied with 
conviction, and added : " Then you think I need 
not anticipate any trouble from her ? " 

" I have told you what I think," I answered ; 
"you know better than I what the situation 
is." 

He still lingered. 

" Does she appear to be in, ah, in good 
spirits ? " 

I had work to keep my face straight. 

" Capital," I said ; " I never saw her happier." 

This seemed to satisfy him. 

" Downcast at first, happy now," he remarked 
thoughtfully. " Yes, she got over it. I'm much 
obliged to you, Crocker." 

I left him to finish his short story and walked 
out across the circle of smooth lawn towards the 
golf links. And there I met Mrs. Cooke and 
her niece coming in together. The warm red 
of her costume became Miss Thorn wonderfully, 
and set off the glossy black of her hair. And 
her skin was glowing from the exercise. An 
involuntary feeling of admiration for this tall, 
athletic young woman swept over me, and I 
halted in my steps for no other reason, I believe, 
than that I might look upon her the longer. 



n8 The Celebrity 

What man, I thought resentfully, would not 
travel a thousand miles to be near her? 

" It is Mr. Crocker," said Mrs. Cooke ; " I had 
given up all hope of ever seeing you again. 
Why have you been such a stranger?" 

"As if you didn't know, Aunt Maria," Miss 
Thorn put in gayly. 

" Oh yes, I know," returned her aunt, 
"and I have not been foolish enough to in 
vite the bar without the magnet. And yet, 
Mr. Crocker," she went on playfully, " I had 
imagined that you were the one man in a hun 
dred who did not need an inducement." 

Miss Thorn began digging up the turf with 
her lofter : it was a painful moment for me. 

"You might at least have tried me, Mrs. 
Cooke," I said. 

Miss Thorn looked up quickly from the 
ground, her eyes searchingly upon my face. 
And Mrs. Cooke seemed surprised. 

"We are glad you came, at any rate," she 
answered. 

And at luncheon my seat was next to Miss 
Thorn's, while the Celebrity was placed at the 
right of Miss Trevor. I observed that his face 
went blank from time to time at some quip of 



The Celebrity 119 

hers : even a dull woman may be sharp under 
such circumstances, and Miss Trevor had wits 
to spare. And I marked that she never allowed 
her talk with him to drift into deep water ; when 
there was danger of this she would draw the 
entire table into their conversation by some 
adroit remark, or create a laugh at his expense. 
As for me, I held a discreet if uncomfortable 
silence, save for the few words which passed 
between Miss Thorn and me. Once or twice 
I caught her covert glance on me. But I felt, 
and strongly, that there could be no friendship 
between us now, and I did not care to dissimu 
late merely for the sake of appearances. Be 
sides, I was not a little put out over the senseless 
piece of gossip which had gone abroad concern 
ing me. 

It had been arranged as part of the day's 
programme that Mr. Cooke was to drive those 
who wished to go over the Rise in his new 
brake. But the table was not graced by our 
host's presence, Mrs. Cooke apologizing for 
him, explaining that he had disappeared quite 
mysteriously. It turned out that he and the 
judge had been served with luncheon in the 
Ethiopian card-room, and neither threats nor 



I2O The Celebrity 

fair words could draw him away. The judge 
had not held such cards for years, and it was in 
vain that I talked to him of consequences. The 
Ten decided to remain and watch a game which 
was pronounced little short of phenomenal, and 
my client gave orders for the smaller brake and 
requested the Celebrity to drive. And this he 
was nothing loth to do. For the edification as 
well as the assurance of the party Mr. Allen ex 
plained, while we were waiting under the port 
cochtre, how he had driven the Windsor coach 
down Piccadilly at the height of the season, with 
a certain member of Parliament and noted whip 
on the box seat. 

And, to do him justice, he could drive. He 
won the instant respect of Mr. Cooke's coach 
man by his manner of taking up the lines, and 
clinched it when he dropped a careless remark 
concerning the off wheeler. And after the 
critical inspection of the horses which is proper 
he climbed up on the box. There was much 
hesitation among the ladies as to who should 
take the seat of honor : Mrs. Cooke declining, it 
was pressed upon Miss Thorn. But she, some 
what to my surprise, declined also, and it was 
finally filled by a young woman from Asquith. 



The Celebrity 121 

As we drove off I found myself alone with Mrs. 
Cooke's niece on the seat behind. 

The day was cool and snappy for August, and 
the Rise all green with a lavish nature. Now 
we plunged into a deep shade with the boughs 
Jacing each other overhead, and crossed dainty, 
rustic bridges over the cold trout-streams, the 
boards giving back the clatter of our horses' 
feet : or anon we shot into a clearing, with a 
colored glimpse of the lake and its curving shore 
far below us. I had always loved that piece of 
country since the first look I had of it from the 
Asquith road, and the sight of it rarely failed to 
set my blood a-tingle with pleasure. But to-day 
I scarcely saw it. I wondered what whim had 
impelled Miss Thorn to get into this seat. She 
paid but little attention to me during the first 
part of the drive, though a mere look in my di 
rection seemed to afford her amusement. And 
at last, half way up the Rise, where the road 
takes to an embankment, I got a decided jar. 

" Mr. Allen," she cried to the Celebrity, "you 
must stop here. Do you remember how long 
we tarried over this bit on Friday?" 

He tightened the lines and threw a meaning 
glance backward. 



122 The Celebrity 

I was tempted to say : 

" You and Mr. Allen should know these roads 
rather well, Miss Thorn." 

" Every inch of them," she replied. 

We must have gone a mile farther when she 
turned upon me. 

"It is your duty to be entertaining, Mr. 
Crocker. What in the world are you thinking 
of, with your brow all puckered up, forbidding as 
an owl ? " 

" I was thinking how some people change," 
I answered, with a readiness which surprised 
me. 

" Strange," she said, " I had the same thing 
in mind. I hear decidedly queer tales of you ; 
canoeing every day that business does not pre 
vent, and whole evenings spent at the dark end 
of a veranda." 

" What rubbish ! " I exclaimed, not knowing 
whether to be angered or amused. 

"Come, sir," she said, with mock sternness, 
" answer the charge. Guilty or not guilty ? " 

" First let me make a counter-charge," said I ; 
"you have given me the right. Not long ago a 
certain young lady came to Mohair and found 
there a young author of note with whom she 



The Celebrity 123 

had had some previous acquaintance. She did 
not hesitate to intimate her views on the char 
acter of this Celebrity, and her views were not 
favorable." 

I paused. There was some satisfaction in 
seeing Miss Thorn biting her lip. 

"Well?" 

"Not at all favorable, mind you," I went on. 
" And the young lady's general appearance was 
such as to lead one to suppose her the sincerest 
of persons. Now I am at a loss to account for 
a discrepancy between her words and her 
actions." 

While I talked Miss Thorn's face had been 
gradually turning from mine until now I saw 
only the dainty knot at the back of her head. 
Her shoulders were quivering with laughter. 
But presently her face came back all gravity, 
save a suspicious gleam of mirth in the eyes. 

"It does seem inconsistent, Mr. Crocker; I 
grant you that. No doubt it is so. But let me 
ask you something : did you ever yet know a 
woman who was not inconsistent ? " 

I did not realize I had been side-tracked until 
I came to think over this conversation after* 
wards. 



124 The Celebrity 

"I am not sure," I replied. "Perhaps I 
merely hoped that one such existed." 

She dropped her eyes. 

" Then don't be surprised at my failing," said 
she. "No doubt I criticised the Celebrity 
severely. I cannot recall what I said. But it 
is upon the better side of a character that we 
must learn to look. Did it ever strike you that 
the Celebrity had some exceedingly fine quali 
ties?" 

" No, it did not," I answered positively. 

"Nevertheless, he has," she went on, in all 
apparent seriousness. "He drives almost as 
well as Uncle Farquhar, dances well, and is a 
capital paddle." 

" You were speaking of qualities, not accom 
plishments," I said. A horrible suspicion that 
she was having a little fun at my expense crossed 
my mind. 

"Very good, then. You must admit that he 
is generous to a fault, amiable ; and persevering, 
else he would never have attained the position 
he enjoys. And his affection for you, Mr. 
Crocker, is really touching, considering how 
little he gets in return." 

"Come, Miss Thorn," I said severely, "thii 



The Celebrity 125 

is ridiculous. I don't like him, and never shall. 
I liked him once, before he took to writing 
drivel. But he must have been made over 
since then. And what is more, with all re 
spect to your opinion, I don't believe he likes 
me." 

Miss Thorn straightened up with dignity and 
said: 

"You do him an injustice. But perhaps you 
will learn to appreciate him before he leaves 
Mohair." 

"That is not likely," I replied not at all 
pleasantly, I fear. And again I thought I ob 
served in her the same desire to laugh she had 
before exhibited. 

And all the way back her talk was of nothing 
except the Celebrity. I tried every method 
short of absolute rudeness to change the sub 
ject, and went from silence to taciturnity and 
back again to silence. She discussed his books 
and his mannerisms, even the growth of his 
popularity. She repeated anecdotes of him from 
Naples to St. Petersburg, from Tokio to Cape 
Town. And when we finally stopped under the 
port cochere I had scarcely the civility left to say 
good-bye. 



126 The Celebrity 

I held out my hand to help her to the ground, 
but she paused on the second step. 

"Mr. Crocker," she observed archly, "I be 
lieve you once told me you had not known many 
girls in your life." 

"True," I said; "why do you ask?" 

" I wished to be sure of it," she replied. 

And jumping down without my assistance, 
she laughed and disappeared into the house. 



CHAPTER IX 

THAT evening I lighted a cigar and went 
down to sit on the outermost pile of the 
Asquith dock to commune with myself. To 
say that I was disappointed in Miss Thorn 
would be to set a mild value on my feelings. 
I was angry, even aggressive, over her defence 
of the Celebrity. I had gone over to Mohair 
that day with a hope that some good reason 
was at the bottom of her tolerance for him, and 
had come back without any hope. She not only 
tolerated him, but, wonderful to be said, plainly 
liked him. Had she not praised him, and de 
fended him, and become indignant when I spoke 
my mind about him ? And I would have taken 
my oath, two weeks before, that nothing short 
of hypnotic influence could have changed her. 
By her own confession she had come to Asquith 
with her eyes opened, and, what was more, seen 
another girl wrecked on the same reef. 

Farrar followed me out presently, and I had 
an impulse to submit the problem as it stood 
to him. But it was a long story, and I did 
127 



128 The Celebrity 

not believe that if he were in my boots he 
would have consulted me. Again, I sometimes 
thought Farrar yearned for confidences, though 
it was impossible for him to confide. And he 
wore an inviting air to-night. Then, as every 
body knows, there is that about twilight and an 
after-dinner cigar which leads to communica 
tion. They are excellent solvents. My friend 
seated himself on the pile next to mine, and 
said, 

" It strikes me you have been behaving rather 
queer lately, Crocker." 

This was clearly an invitation from Farrar, 
and I melted. 

"I admit," said I, "that I am a good deal 
perplexed over the contradictions of the human 
mind." 

" Oh, is that all ? " he replied dryly. " I sup 
posed it was worse. Narrower, I mean. Didn't 
know you ever bothered yourself with abstract 
philosophy." 

"See here, Farrar," said I, "what is your 
opinion of Miss Thorn ? " 

He stopped kicking his feet against the pile 
and looked up. 

"Miss Thorn?" 



The Celebrity 129 

"Yes, Miss Thorn," I repeated with empha 
sis. I knew he had in mind that abominable 
twaddle about the canoe excursions. 

" Why, to tell the truth," said he, " I never 
had any opinion of Miss Thorn." 

"You mean you never formed any, I sup- 
pose," I returned with some tartness. 

"Yes, that is it. How darned precise you 
are getting, Crocker! One would think you 
were going to write a rhetoric. What put 
Miss Thorn into your head?" 

" I have been coaching beside her this after 
noon." 

" Oh ! " said Farrar. 

"Do you remember the night she came," 
I asked, "and we sat with her on the Flor 
entine porch, and Charles Wrexell recognized 
her and came up ? " 

"Yes," he replied with awakened interest, 
"and I meant to ask you about that." 

" Miss Thorn had met him in the East. And 
I gathered from what she told me that he has 
followed her out here." 

" Shouldn't wonder," said Farrar. " Don't 
much blame him, do you? Is that what 
troubles you ? " he asked, in surprise. 



130 The Celebrity 

"Not precisely," I answered vaguely; "but 
from what she has said then and since, she 
made it pretty clear that she hadn't any use 
for him ; saw through him, you know." 

"Pity her if she didn't. But what did she 
say?" 

I repeated the conversations I had had with 
Miss Thorn, without revealing Mr. Allen's iden 
tity with the celebrated author. 

"That is rather severe," he assented. 

"He decamped for Mohair, as you know, 
and since that time she has gone back on 
every word of it. She is with him morning 
and evening, and, to crown all, stood up for 
him through thick and thin to-day, and praised 
him. What do you think of that?" 

" What I should have expected in a woman," 
said he, nonchalantly. 

"They aren't all alike," I retorted. 

He shook out his pipe, and getting down 
from his high seat laid his hand on my knee. 

" I thought so once, old fellow," he whis 
pered, and went off down the dock. 

This was the nearest Farrar ever came to 
a confidence. 

I have now to chronicle a curious friendship 



The Celebrity 131 

which had its beginning at this time. The 
friendships of the other sex are quickly made, 
and sometimes as quickly dissolved. This one 
interested me more than I care to own. The 
next morning Judge Short, looking somewhat 
dejected after the overnight conference he had 
had with his wife, was innocently and somewhat 
ostentatiously engaged in tossing quoits with 
me in front of the inn, when Miss Thorn drove 
up in a basket cart. She gave me a bow which 
proved that she bore no ill-will for that which 
I had said about her hero. Then Miss Trevor 
appeared, and away they went together. This 
was the commencement. Soon the acquaintance 
became an intimacy, and their lives a series of 
visits to each other. Although this new state 
of affairs did not seem to decrease the number 
of Miss Thorn's tete-a-tetes with the Celebrity, 
it put a stop to the canoe expeditions I had 
been in the habit of taking with Miss Trevor, 
which I thought just as well under the circum 
stances. More than once Miss Thorn partook 
of the inn fare at our table, and when this hap 
pened I would make my escape before the coffee. 
For such was the nature of my feelings regard 
ing the Celebrity that I could not bring myself 



132 The Celebrity 

into cordial relations with one who professed 
to admire him. I realize how ridiculous such 
a sentiment must appear, but it existed never 
theless, and most strongly. 

I tried hard to throw Miss Thorn out of my 
thoughts, and very nearly succeeded. I took 
to spending more and more of my time at the 
county-seat, where I remained for days at a 
stretch, inventing business when there was 
none. And in the meanwhile I lost all re 
spect for myself as a sensible man, and cursed 
the day the Celebrity came into the state. It 
seemed strange that this acquaintance of my 
early days should have come back into my life, 
transformed, to make it more or less miserable. 

The county-seat being several miles inland, 
and lying in the midst of hills, could get intol 
erably hot in September. At last I was driven 
out in spite of myself, and I arrived at Asquith 
cross and dusty. As Simpson was brushing me 
off, Miss Trevor came up the path looking cool 
and pretty in a summer gown, and her face 
expressed sympathy. I have never denied that 
sympathy was a good thing. 

" Oh, Mr. Crocker," she cried, " I am so glad 
you are back again ! We have missed you 



The Celebrity 133 

dreadfully. And you look tired, poor man, 
quite worn out. It is a shame you have to 
go over to that hot place to work." 

I agreed with her. 

" And I never have any one to take me canoe 
ing any more." 

"Let's go now," I suggested, "before dinner." 

So we went. It was a keen pleasure to be 
on the lake again after the sultry court-rooms 
and offices, and the wind and exercise quickly 
brought back my appetite and spirits. I pad 
dled hither and thither, stopping now and then 
to lie under the pines at the mouth of some 
stream, while Miss Trevor talked. She was 
almost a child in her eagerness to amuse me 
with the happenings since my departure. This 
was always her manner with me, in curious 
contrast to her habit of fencing and playing 
with words when in company. Presently she 
burst out : 

"Mr. Crocker, why is it that you avoid Miss 
Thorn ? I was talking of you to her only 
to-day, and she says you go miles out of your 
way to get out of speaking to her; that you 
seemed to like her quite well at first. She 
couldn't understand the change." 



134 The Celebrity 

" Did she say that ? " I exclaimed. 

" Indeed, she did ; and I have noticed it, too. 
I saw you leave before coffee more than once 
when she was here. I don't believe you know 
what a fine girl she is." 

"Why, then, does she accept and return the 
attentions of the Celebrity ? " I inquired, with 
a touch of acidity. " She knows what he is as 
well, if not better, than you or I. I own I can't 
understand it," I said, the subject getting ahead 
of me. " I believe she is in love with him." 

Miss Trevor began to laugh ; quietly at first, 
and, as her merriment increased, heartily. 

" Shouldn't we be getting back ? " I asked, 
looking at my watch. "It lacks but half an 
hour of dinner." 

"Please don't be angry, Mr. Crocker," she 
pleaded. "I really couldn't help laughing." 

" I was unaware I had said anything funny, 
Miss Trevor," I replied. 

"Of course you didn't," she said more so 
berly ; " that is, you didn't intend to. But the 
very notion of Miss Thorn in love with the 
Celebrity is funny." 

"Evidence is stronger than argument," said 
"And now she has even convicted herself." 



The Celebrity 135 

I started to paddle homeward, rather furi 
ously, and my companion said nothing until 
we came in sight of the inn. As the canoe 
glided into the smooth surface behind the 
breakwater, she broke the silence. 

" I heard you went fishing the other day," 
said she. 

"Yes." 

"And the judge told me about a big bass 
you hooked, and how you played him longer 
than was necessary for the mere fun of the 
thing." 

"Yes." 

"Perhaps you will find in the feeling that 
prompted you to do that a clue to the char 
acter of our sex." 



CHAPTER X 

MR. COOKE had had a sloop yacht built at 
Far Harbor, the completion of which had been 
delayed, and which was but just delivered. She 
was painted white, with brass fittings, and under 
her stern, in big, black letters, was the word 
Maria, intended as a surprise and delicate con 
jugal compliment to Mrs. Cooke. The Maria 
had a cabin, which was finished in hard wood 
and yellow plush, and accommodations for keep 
ing things cold. This last Mr. Cooke had in 
sisted upon. 

The skipper Mr. Cooke had hired at Far 
Harbor was a God-fearing man with a luke 
warm interest in his new billet and employer, 
and had only been prevailed upon to take charge 
of the yacht for the month after the offer of an 
emolument equal to half a year's sea pay of an 
ensign in the navy. His son and helper. was 
to receive a sum proportionally exorbitant. 
This worthy man sighted Mohair on a Sunday 
morning, and at nine o'clock dropped his anchor 
136 



The Celebrity 137 

with a salute which caused Mr. Cooke to say 
unpleasant things in his sleep. After making 
things ship-shape and hoisting the jack, both 
father and son rowed ashore to the little church 
at Asquith". 

Now the butler at Mohair was a servant who 
had learned, from long experience, to anticipate 
every wish and whim of his master, and from 
the moment he descried the white sails of the 
yacht out of the windows of the butler's pantry 
his duty was clear as daylight. Such was the 
comprehension and despatch with which he gave 
his commands that the captain returned from 
divine worship to find the Maria in profane 
hands, her immaculate deck littered with straw 
and sawdust, and covered to the coamings with 
bottles and cases. This decided the captain : 
he packed his kit in high dudgeon, and took 
the first train back to Far Harbor, leaving the 
yacht to her fate. 

This sudden and inconsiderate departure was 
a severe blow to Mr. Cooke, who was so consti 
tuted that he cared but little about anything 
until there was danger of not getting it. My 
client had planned a trip to Bear Island for the 
following Tuesday, which was to last a week, 



138 The Celebrity 

the party to bring tents with them and rough 
it, with the Maria as headquarters. It was out 
of the question to send to Far Harbor for 
another skipper, if, indeed, one could be found 
at that late period. And as luck would have it, 
six of Mr. Cooke's ten guests had left but a day 
or so since, and among them had been the only 
yacht-owner. None of the four that remained 
could do more than haul aft and belay a sheet. 
But the Celebrity, who chanced along as Mr. 
Cooke was ruefully gazing at the graceful lines 
of the Maria from the wharf and cursing the 
fate that kept him ashore with a stiff wind blow 
ing, proposed a way out of the difficulty. He, 
the Celebrity, would gladly sail the Maria over 
to Bear Island provided another man could be 
found to relieve him occasionally at the wheel, 
and the like. He had noticed that Farrar was 
a capable hand in a boat, and suggested that he 
be sent for. 

This suggestion Mr. Cooke thought so well 
of that he hurried over to Asquith to consult 
Farrar at once, and incidentally to consult me. 
We can hardly be blamed for receiving his over 
tures with a moderate enthusiasm. In fact, we 
were of one mind not to go when the subject 



The Celebrity 139 

was first broached. But ray client had a per 
suasive way about him that was irresistible, and 
the mere mention of the favors he had conferred 
upon both of us at different periods of our lives 
was sufficient. We consented. 

Thus it came to pass that Tuesday niorning 
found the party assembled on the wharf at 
Mohair, the Four and the Celebrity, as well as 
Mr. Cooke, having produced yachting suits from 
their inexhaustible wardrobes. Mr. Trevor and 
his daughter, Mrs. Cooke and Miss Thorn, and 
Farrar and myself completed the party. We 
were to adhere strictly to primeval principles : 
the ladies were not permitted a maid, while the 
Celebrity was forced to leave his manservant, 
and Mr. Cooke his chef. I had, however, thrust 
into my pocket the Minneapolis papers, which 
had been handed me by the clerk on their arri 
val at the inn, which happened just as I was 
leaving. Quod bene notandum! 

Thereby hangs a tale ! 

For the northern lakes the day was rather 
dead : a little wind lay in the southeast, scarcely 
enough to break the water, with the sky an in 
tense blue. But the Maria was hardly cast and 
under way before it became painfully apparent 



140 The Celebrity 

that the Celebrity was much better fitted to 
lead a cotillon than to sail a boat. He gave 
his orders, nevertheless, in a firm, seamanlike 
fashion, though with no great pertinence, and 
thus managed to establish the confidence of Mr. 
Cooke. Farrar, after setting things to rights, 
joined Mrs. Cooke and me over the cabin. 

" How about hoisting the spinnaker, mate ? " 
the Celebrity shouted after him. 

Farrar did not deign to answer : his eye was 
on the wind. And the boom, which had been 
acting uneasily, finally decided to gybe, and 
swept majestically over, carrying two of the 
Four in front of it, and all but dropped them 
into the water. 

"A common occurrence in a light breeze," 
we heard the Celebrity reassure Mr. Cooke 
and Miss Thorn. 

" The Maria has vindicated her sex," remarked 
Farrar. 

We laughed. 

"Why don't you sail, Mr. Farrar?" asket* 
Mrs. Cooke. 

" He can't do any harm in this breeze," Far 
rar replied ; " it isn't strong enough to get 
where with." 



The Celebrity 141 

He was right. The boom gybed twenty times 
that morning, and the Celebrity offered an equal 
number of apologies. Mr. Cooke and the Four 
vanished, and from the uproarious laughter which 
arose from the cabin transoms I judged they 
were telling stories. While Miss Thorn spent 
the time profitably in learning how to conn a 
yacht. At one, when we had luncheon, Mohair 
was still in the distance. At two it began to 
cloud over, the wind fell flat, and an ominous 
black bank came up from the south. Without 
more ado, Farrar, calling on me to give him a 
hand, eased down the halliards and began to 
close reef the mainsail. 

" Hold on," said the Celebrity, "who told you 
to do that ? " 

" I am very sure you didn't," Farrar returned, 
as he hauled out a reef earing. 

Here a few drops of rain on the deck warned 
the ladies to retire to the cabin. 

"Take the helm until I get my mackintosh, 
will you, Farrar?" said the Celebrity, "and be 
careful what you do." 

Farrar took the helm and hauled in the sheet, 
while the Celebrity, Mr. Cooke, and the guests 
donned their rain-clothes. The water ahead was 



142 The Celebrity 

now like blue velvet, and the rain pelting. The 
Maria was heeling to the squall by the time the 
Celebrity appeared at the cabin door, enveloped 
in an ample waterproof, a rubber cover on his 
yachting cap. A fool despises a danger he has 
never experienced, and our author, with a re 
mark about a spanking breeze, made a motion 
to take the wheel. But Farrar, the flannel of 
his shirt clinging to the muscular outline of his 
shoulders, gave him a push which sent him 
sprawling against the lee refrigerator. Well 
Miss Thorn was not there to see. 

"You will have to answer for this," he cried, 
as he scrambled to his feet and clutched the 
weather wash-board with one hand, while he 
shook the other in Farrar's face. 

"Crocker," said Farrar to me, coolly, "keep 
that idiot out of the way for a while, or we'll all 
be drowned. Tie him up, if necessary." 

I was relieved from this somewhat unpleasant 
task. Mr. Cooke, with his back to the rain, sat 
an amused witness to the mutiny, as blissfully 
ignorant as the Celebrity of the character of a 
lake squall. 

" I appeal to you, as the owner of this yacht, 
Mr. Cooke," the Celebrity shouted, "whether, 



The Celebrity 143 

as the person delegated by you to take charge 
of it, I am to suffer indignity and insult. I 
have sailed larger yachts than this time and 
again on the coast, at " here he swallowed a 
portion of a wave and was mercifully prevented 
from being specific. 

But Mr. Cooke was looking a trifle bewildered. 
It was hardly possible for him to cling to the re 
frigerator, much less quell a mutiny. One who 
has sailed the lakes well knows how rapidly they 
can be lashed to fury by a storm, and the wind 
was now spinning the tops of the waves into a 
blinding spray. Although the Maria proved a 
stiff boat and a seaworthy, she was not alto 
gether without motion ; and the set expression 
on Farrar's face would have told me, had I not 
known it, that our situation at that moment was 
no joke. Repeatedly, as she was held up to it, 
a precocious roller would sweep from bow to 
stern, until we without coats were wet and 
shivering. 

The close and crowded cabin of a small yacht 
is not an attractive place in rough weather ; and 
one by one the Four emerged and distributed 
themselves about the deck, wherever they could 
obtain a hold. Some of them began to act 



144 The Celebrity 

peculiarly. Upon Mr. Cooke's unwillingness or 
inability to interfere in his behalf, the Celebrity 
had assumed an aggrieved demeanor, but soon 
the motion of the Maria became more and more 
pronounced, and the difficulty of maintaining his 
decorum likewise increased. The ruddy color 
left his face, which grew pale with effort. I 
will do him the justice to say that the effort was 
heroic : he whistled popular airs, and snatches 
of the grand opera ; he relieved Mr. Cooke of 
his glasses (of which Mr. Cooke had neglected 
to relieve himself), and scanned the sea line 
busily. But the inevitable deferred is fre 
quently more violent than the inevitable taken 
gracefully, and the confusion which at length 
overtook the Celebrity was utter as his humilia 
tion was complete. We laid him beside Mr. 
Cooke in the cockpit. 

The rain presently ceased, and the wind 
hauled, as is often the case, to the northwest, 
which began to clear, while Bear Island rose 
from the northern horizon. Both Farrar and 
I were surprised to see Miss Trevor come out ; 
she hooked back the cabin doors and surveyed 
the prostrate forms with amusement. 

We asked her about those inside. 



The Celebrity 145 

"Mrs. Cooke has really been very ill," she 
said, "and Miss Thorn is doing all she can for 
her. My father and I were more fortunate. 
But you will both catch your deaths," she ex 
claimed, noticing our condition. "Tell me 
where I can find your coats." 

I suppose it is natural for a man to enjoy 
being looked after in this way ; it was certainly 
a new sensation to Farrar and myself. We 
assured her we were drying out and did not 
need the coats, but nevertheless she went back 
into the cabin and found them. 

"Miss Thorn says you should both be 
whipped," she remarked. 

When we had put on our coats Miss Trevor 
sat down and began to talk. 

"I once heard of a man," she began com 
placently, "a man that was buried alive, and 
who contrived to dig himself up and then read 
his own epitaph. It did not please him, but he 
was wise and amended his life. I have often 
thought how much it might help some people 
if they could read their own epitaphs." 

Farrar was very quick at this sort of thing ; 
and now that the steering had become easier 
was only too glad to join her in worrying the 



146 The Celebrity 

Celebrity. But he, if he were conscious, gave 
no sign of it. 

" They ought to be buried so that they could 
not dig themselves up," he said. "The epi 
taphs would only strengthen their belief that 
they had lived in an unappreciative age." 

" One I happen to have in mind, however, 
lives in an appreciative age. Most appreciative." 

" And women are often epitaph-makers." 

"You are hard on the sex, Mr. Farrar," she 
answered, "but perhaps justly so. And yet 
there are some women I know of who would 
not write an epitaph to his taste." 

Farrar looked at her curiously. 

" I beg your pardon," he said. 

"Do not imagine I am touchy on the sub 
ject," she replied quickly; "some of us are 
fortunate enough to have had our eyes opened." 

I thought the Celebrity stirred uneasily. 

" Have you read The Sybarites?" she asked. 

Farrar was puzzled. 

"No," said he sententiously, "and I don't 
want to." 

" I know the average man thinks it a disgrace 
to have read it. And you may not believe me 
when I say that it is a strong story of its kind, 



The Celebrity 147 

with a strong moral. There are men who 
might read that book and be a great deal better 
for it. And, if they took the moral to heart, 
it would prove every bit as effectual as their 
own epitaphs." 

He was not quite sure of her drift, but he 
perceived that she was still making fun of 
Mr. Allen. 

" And the moral ? " he inquired. 

"Well," she said, "the best I can do is to give 
you a synopsis of the story, and then you can 
judge of its fitness. The hero is called Victor 
Desmond. He is a young man of a sterling 
though undeveloped character, who has been 
hampered by an indulgent parent with a large 
fortune. Desmond is a butterfly, and sips life 
after the approved manner of his kind, now 
from Bohemian glass, now from vessels of gold 
and silver. He chats with stage lights in their 
dressing-rooms, and, attends a ball in the Bow 
ery or a supper at Sherry's with a ready ver 
satility. The book, apart from its intention, 
really gives the middle classes an excellent idea 
of what is called ' high-life.' 

" It is some time before Desmond discovers 
that he possesses the gift of Paris, a delib- 



148 The Celebrity 

eration proving his lack of conceit, that wher 
ever he goes he unwittingly breaks a heart, and 
sometimes two or three. This discovery is 
naturally so painful that he comes home to his 
chambers and throws himself on a lounge before 
his fire in a fit of self-deprecation, and reflects 
on a misspent and foolish life. This, mind you, 
is where his character starts to develop. And 
he makes a heroic resolve, not to cut off his 
nose or to grow a beard, nor get married, but 
henceforth to live a life of usefulness and seclu 
sion, which was certainly considerate. And 
furthermore, if by any accident he ever again 
involved the affections of another girl he would 
marry her, be she as ugly as sin or as poor as 
poverty. Then the heroine comes in. Her 
name is Rosamond, which sounds well and may 
be euphoniously coupled with Desmond ; and, 
with the single exception of a boarding-school 
girl, she is the only young woman he ever 
thought of twice. In order to save her and 
himself he goes away, but the temptation to 
write to her overpowers him, and of course she 
answers his letter. This brings on a corre 
spondence. His letters take the form of con 
fessions, and are the fruits of much philosophical 



The Celebrity 149 

reflection. ' Inconstancy in woman,' he says, 
' because of the present social conditions, is 
often pardonable. In a man, nothing is more 
despicable.' This is his cardinal principle, and 
he sticks to it nobly. For, though he tires of 
Rosamond, who is quite attractive, however, he 
marries her and lives a life of self-denial. There 
are men who might take that story to heart." 

I was amused that she should give the pas 
sage quoted by the Celebrity himself. Her 
double meaning was, naturally, lost on Farrar, 
but he enjoyed the thing hugely, nevertheless, 
as more or less applicable to Mr. Allen. I made 
sure that gentleman was sensible of what was 
being said, though he scarcely moved a muscle. 
And Miss Trevor, with a mirthful glance at me 
that was not without a tinge of triumph, jumped 
lightly to the deck and went in to see the 
invalids. 

We were now working up into the lee of the 
island, whose tall pines stood clean and black 
against the red glow of the evening sky. Mr. 
Cooke began to give evidences of life, and 
finally got up and overhauled one of the ice- 
chests for a restorative. Farrar put into the 
little cove, where we dropped anchor, and soon 



150 The Celebrity 

had the chief sufferers ashore ; and a delicate 
supper, in the preparation of which Miss Thorn 
showed her ability as a cook, soon restored 
them. For my part, I much preferred Miss 
Thorn's dishes to those of the Mohair chef, and 
so did Farrar. And the Four, surprising as it 
may seem, made themselves generally useful 
about the camp in pitching the tents under Far- 
rar's supervision. But the Celebrity remained 
apart and silent. 



CHAPTER XI 

OUR first night in the Bear Island camp 
passed without incident, and we all slept pro 
foundly, tired out by the labors of the day 
before. After breakfast the Four set out to 
explore, with trout-rods and shot-guns. Bear 
Island is, with the exception of the cove into 
which we had put, as nearly round as an island 
can be, and perhaps three miles in diameter. It 
has two clear brooks which, owing to the com 
parative inaccessibility of the place, still contain 
trout and grayling, though there are few spots 
where a fly can be cast on account of the dense 
underbrush. The woods contain partridge, or 
ruffed grouse, and other game in smaller quan 
tities. I believe my client entertained some 
notion of establishing a preserve here. 

The insults which had been heaped upon the 
Celebrity on the yacht seemed to have raised 
rather than lowered him in Miss Thorn's esteem, 
for these two ensconced themselves among the 
pines above the camp with an Edition de luxe of 
9 151 



152 The Celebrity 

one of his works which she had brought along. 
They were soon absorbed in one of those famous 
short stories of his with the ending left open to 
discussion. Mr. Cooke was indisposed. He 
had not yet recovered from the shaking up his 
system had sustained, and he took to a canvas 
easy chair he had brought with him and placed 
a decanter of Scotch and a tumbler of ice at his 
side. The efficacy of this remedy was assured. 
And he demanded the bunch of newspapers he 
spied protruding from my pocket. 

The rest of us were engaged in various occu 
pations : Mr. Trevor relating experiences of 
steamboat days on the Ohio to Mrs. Cooke ; 
Miss Trevor buried in a serial in the Century ; 
and Farrar and I taking an inventory of fishing- 
tackle, when we were startled by a loud and pro 
fane ejaculation. Mr. Cooke had hastily put 
down his glass and was staring at the newspaper 
before him with eyes as large as after-dinner 
coffee-cups. 

"Come here," he shouted over at us. "Come 
here, Crocker," he repeated, seeing we were slow 
to move. " For God's sake, come here ! " 

In obedience to this emphatic summons I 
crossed the stream and drew near to Mr. Cooke, 



The Celebrity 153 

who was busily pouring out another glass of 
whiskey to tide him over this strange excite 
ment. But, as Mr. Cooke was easily excited 
and on such occasions always drank whiskey to 
quiet his nerves, I thought nothing of it. He 
was sitting bolt upright and held out the paper 
to me with a shaking hand, while he pointed to 
some headlines on the first page. And this is 
what I read : 

TREASURER TAKES A TRIP. 

CHARLES WREXELL ALLEN, OF THE MILES STAN- 
DISH BICYCLE COMPANY, GETS OFF WITH 
IOO,OOO DOLLARS. 

DETECTIVES BAFFLED. 
THE ABSCONDER A BACK BAY SOCIAL LEADER. 

Half way down the column was a picture of 
Mr. Allen, a cut made from a photograph, and, 
allowing for the crudities of newspaper repro 
duction, it was a striking likeness of the Celeb 
rity. Underneath was a short description. Mr. 
Allen was five feet eleven (the Celebrity's 
height), had a straight nose, square chin, dark 
hair and eyes, broad shoulders, was dressed 
elaborately; in brief, tallied in every particular 
with the Celebrity with the exception of the 



254 The Celebrity 

slight scar which Allen was thought to have on 
his forehead. 

The situation and all its ludicrous possibilities 
came over me with a jump. It was too good to 
be true. Had Mr. Charles Wrexell Allen 
arrived at Asquith and created a sensation with 
the man who stole his name I should have been 
amply satisfied. But that Mr. Allen had been 
obliging enough to abscond with a large sum of 
money was beyond dreaming ! 

I glanced at the rest of it : a history of the 
well-established company followed, with all that 
Mr. Allen had done for it. v The picture, by the 
way, had been obtained from the St. Paul agent 
of the bicycle. After doing due credit to the 
treasurer's abilities as a hustler there followed 
a summary of his character, hitherto without 
reproach ; but his tastes were expensive ones. 
Mr. Allen's tendency to extravagance had been 
noticed by the members of the Miles Standish 
Company, and some of the older directors had 
on occasions remonstrated with him. But he 
had been too valuable a man to let go, and it 
seems as treasurer he was trusted implicitly. 
He was said to have more clothes than any man 
in Boston. 



The Celebrity 155 

I am used to thinking quickly, and by the 
time I had read this I had an idea. 

" What in hell do you make of that, Crocker?" 
cried my client, eyeing me closely and repeating 
the question again and again, as was his wont 
when agitated. 

" It is certainly plain enough," I replied, " but 
I should like to talk to you before you decide to 
hand him over to the authorities." 

I thought I knew Mr. Cooke, and I was not 
mistaken. 

"Authorities!" he roared. "Damn the au 
thorities ! There's my yacht, and there's the 
Canadian border." And he pointed to the 
north. 

The others were pressing around us by this 
time, and had caught the significant words which 
Mr. Cooke had uttered. I imagine that if my 
client had stopped to think twice, which of 
course is a preposterous condition, he would 
have confided his discovery only to Farrar and 
to me. It was now out of the question to keep 
it from the rest of the party, and Mr. Trevor got 
the headlines over my shoulder. I handed him 
the sheet. 

" Read it, Mr. Trevor," said Mrs. Cooke. 



156 The Celebrity 

Mr. Trevor, in a somewhat unsteady voice, 
read the headlines and began the column, and 
they followed breathless with astonishment and 
agitation. Once or twice the senator paused 
to frown upon the Celebrity with a terrible 
sternness, thus directing all other eyes to him. 
His demeanor was a study in itself. It may be 
surmised, from what I have said of him, that 
there was a strain of the actor in his compo 
sition ; and I am prepared to make an affidavit 
that, secure in the knowledge that he had wit 
nesses present to attest his identity, he hugely 
enjoyed the sensation he was creating. That 
he looked forward with a profound pleasure to 
the stir which the disclosure that he was the 
author of The Sybarites would make. His face 
wore a beatific smile. 

As Mr. Trevor continued, his voice became 
firmer and his manner more majestic. It was a 
task distinctly to his taste, and one might have 
thought he was reading the sentence of a Hast 
ings. I was standing next to his daughter. The 
look of astonishment, perhaps of horror, which 
I had seen on her face when her father first 
began to read had now faded into something 
akin to wickedness. Did she wink? I can't 



The Celebrity 157 

say, never before having had a young woman 
wink at me. But the next moment her vin 
aigrette was rolling down the bank towards the 
brook, and I was after it. I heard her close 
behind me. She must have read my intentions 
by a kind of mental telepathy. 

" Are you going to do it ? " she whispered. 

"Of course," I answered. "To miss such a 
chance would be a downright sin." 

There was a little awe in her laugh. 

" Miss Thorn is the only obstacle," I added, 
" and Mr. Cooke is our hope. I think he will 
go by me." 

"Don't let Miss Thorn worry you," she said 
as we climbed back. 

" What do you mean ? " I demanded. But she 
only shook her head. We were at the top again, 
and Mr. Trevor was reading an appended de 
spatch from Buffalo, stating that Mr. Allen had 
been recognized there, in the latter part of 
June, walking up and down the platform of 
the station, in a smoking-jacket, and that he 
had climbed on the Chicago limited as it pulled 
out. This may have caused the Celebrity to 
feel a trifle uncomfortable. 

" Ha ! " exclaimed Mr. Trevor, as he put down 



158 The Celebrity 

the paper. " Mr. Cooke, do you happen to have 
any handcuffs on the Maria ? " 

But my client was pouring out a stiff helping 
from the decanter, which he still held in his 
hand. Then he approached the Celebrity. 

"Don't let it worry you, old man," said he, 
with intense earnestness. " Don't let it worry 
you. You're my guest, and I'll see you safe 
out of it, or bust." 

"Fenelon," said Mrs. Cooke, gravely, "do 
you realize what you are saying?" 

"You're a clever one, Allen," my client con 
tinued, and he backed away the better to look 
him over; "you had nerve to stay as long as 
you did." 

The Celebrity laughed confidently. 

" Cooke," he replied, " I appreciate your gen 
erosity, I really do. I know no offence is 
meant. The mistake is, in fact, most pardon 
able." 

In Mr. Cooke amazement and admiration 
were clamoring for utterance. 

" Damn me," he sputtered, " if you're not the 
coolest embezzler I ever saw." 

The Celebrity laughed again. Then he sur 
veyed the circle. 



The Celebrity 159 

"My friends," he said, "this is certainly a 
most amazing coincidence; one which, I assure 
you, surprises me no less than it does you. 
You have no doubt remarked that I have my 
peculiarities. We all have. 

" I flatter myself I am not entirely unknown. 
And the annoyances imposed upon me by a 
certain fame I have achieved had become such 
that some months ago I began to crave the 
pleasures of the life of a private man. I 
determined to go to some sequestered resort 
where my face was unfamiliar. The possibil 
ity of being recognized at Asquith did not occur 
to me. Fortunately I was. And a singular 
chance led me to take the name of the man 
who has committed this crime, and who has 
the misfortune to resemble me. I suppose that 
now," he added impressively, " I shall have to 
tell you who I am." 

He paused until these words should have 
gained their full effect. Then he held up the 
Edition de luxe from which he and Miss Thorn 
had been reading. 

" You may have heard, Mrs. Cooke," said he, 
addressing himself to our hostess, "you may 
perhaps have heard of the author of this book." 



160 The Celebrity 

Mrs. Cooke was a calm woman, and she read 
the name on the cover. 

" Yes," she said, " I have. And you claim to 
be he?" 

"Ask my friend Crocker here," he answered 
carelessly, no doubt exulting that the scene was 
going off so dramatically. " I should indeed be 
in a tight box," he went on, " if there were not 
friends of mine here to help me out." 

They turned to me. 

"I am afraid I cannot," I said with what 
soberness I could. 

" What ! " says he with a start. " What ! you 
deny me ? " 

Miss Trevor had her tongue in her cheek. 
I bowed. 

"I am powerless to speak, Mr. Allen," I 
replied. 

During this colloquy my client stood between 
us, looking from one to the other. I well knew 
that his way of thinking would be with my testi 
mony, and that the gilt name on the Edition de 
luxe had done little towards convincing him of 
Mr. Allen's innocence. To his mind there was 
nothing horrible or incongruous in the idea that 
a well-known author should be a defaulter. It 



The Celebrity 161 

was perfectly possible. He shoved the glass of 
Scotch towards the Celebrity, with a smile. 

"Take this, old man," he kindly insisted, 
"and you'll feel better. What's the use of 
bucking when you're saddled with a thing like 
that?" And he pointed to the paper. "Be 
sides, they haven't caught you yet, by a damned 
sight." 

The Celebrity waved aside the proffered 
tumbler. 

"This is an infamous charge, and you know 
it, Crocker," he cried. " If you don't, you ought 
to, as a lawyer. This isn't any time to have 
fun with a fellow." 

" My dear sir," I said, " I have charged you 
with nothing whatever." 

He turned his back on me in complete 
disgust. And he came face to face with Miss 
Trevor. 

" Miss Trevor, too, knows something of me," 
he said. 

"You forget, Mr. Allen," she answered 
sweetly, "you forget that I have given you 
my promise not to reveal what I know." 

The Celebrity chafed, for this was as damag- 
ing a statement as could well be uttered against 

M 



1 62 The Celebrity 

him. But Miss Thorn was his trump card, and 
she now came forward. 

"This is ridiculous, Mr. Crocker, simply ri 
diculous," said she. 

" I agree with you most heartily, Miss Thorn," 
I replied. 

" Nonsense ! " exclaimed Miss Thorn, and she 
drew her lips together, " pure nonsense ! " 

" Nonsense or not, Marian," Mr. Cooke inter 
posed, "we are wasting valuable time. The 
police are already on the scent, I'll bet my 
hat." 

" Fenelon ! " Mrs. Cooke remonstrated. 

" And do you mean to say in soberness, Uncle 
Fenelon, that you believe the author of The 
Sybarites to be a defaulter?" said Miss Thorn. 

"It is indeed hard to believe Mr. Allen a 
criminal," Mr. Trevor broke in for the first 
time. " I think it only right that he should be 
allowed to clear himself before he is put to 
further inconvenience, and perhaps injustice, 
by any action we may take in the matter." 

Mr. Cooke sniffed suspiciously at the word 
"action." 

" What action do you mean ? " he demanded. 

" Well," replied Mr. Trevor, with some hesita- 



The Celebrity 163 

tion, " before we take any steps, that is, notify 
the police." 

" Notify the police ! " cried my client, his face 
red with a generous anger. " I have never yet 
turned a guest over to the police," he said 
proudly, "and won't, not if I know it. I'm 
not that kind." 

Who shall criticise Mr. Cooke's code of 
morality ? 

"Fenelon," said his wife, "you must remem 
ber you have never yet entertained a guest of 
a larcenous character. No embezzlers up to 
the present. Marian," she continued, turning 
to Miss Thorn, "you spoke as if you might 
be able to throw some light upon this matter. 
Do you know whether this gentleman is Charles 
Wrexell Allen, or whether he is the author? 
In short, do you know who he is?" 

The Celebrity lighted a cigarette. Miss Thorn 
said indignantly, 

" Upon my word, Aunt Maria, I thought that 
you, at least, would know better than to credit 
this silly accusation. He has been a guest at 
your house, and I am astonished that you should 
doubt his word." 

Mrs. Cooke looked at her niece perplexedly. 



164 The Celebrity 

"You must remember, Marian," she said 
gently, " that I know nothing about him, 
where he came from, or who he is. Nor does 
any one at Asquith, except perhaps Miss Trevor, 
by her own confession. And you do not seem 
inclined to tell what you know, if indeed you 
know anything." 

Upon this Miss Thorn became more indig 
nant still, and Mrs. Cooke went on : 

" Gentlemen, as a rule, do not assume names, 
especially other people's. They are usually 
proud of their own. Mr. Allen appears among 
us, from the clouds, as it were, and in due time 
we learn from a newspaper that he has com 
mitted a defalcation. And, furthermore, the 
paper contains a portrait and an accurate de 
scription which put the thing beyond doubt. 
I ask you, is it reasonable for him to state 
coolly after all this that he is another man? 
That he is a well-known author? It's an 
absurdity. I was not born yesterday, my 
dear." 

"It is most reasonable under the circum 
stances," replied Miss Thorn, warmly. "Extraor 
dinary ? Of course it's extraordinary. And too 
long to explain to a prejudiced audience, who 



The Celebrity 165 

can't be expected to comprehend the character 
of a genius, to understand the yearning of a 
famous man for a little quiet." 

Mrs. Cooke looked grave. 

" Marian, you forget yourself," she said. 

" Oh, I am tired of it, Aunt Maria," cried 
Miss Thorn; "if he takes my advice, he will 
refuse to discuss it farther." 

She did not seem to be aware that she had 
put forth no argument whatever, save a woman's 
argument. And I was intensely surprised that 
her indignation should have got the better of 
her in this way, having always supposed her 
clear-headed in the extreme. A few words from 
her, such as I supposed she would have spoken, 
had set the Celebrity right with all except Mr. 
Cooke. To me it was a clear proof that the 
Celebrity had turned her head, and her mind 
with it. 

The silence was broken by an uncontrollable 
burst of laughter from Miss Trevor. She was 
quickly frowned down by her father, who re 
minded her that this was not a comedy. 

"And, Mr. Allen," he said, "if you have any 
thing to say, or any evidence to bring forward, 
now is the time to do it." 



1 66 The Celebrity 

He appeared to forget that I was the district 
attorney. 

The Celebrity had seated himself on the 
trunk of a tree, and was blowing out the smoke 
in clouds. He was inclined to take Miss 
Thorn's advice, for he made a gesture of weari 
ness with his cigarette, in the use of which he 
was singularly eloquent. 

"Tell me, Mr. Trevor," said he, "why I 
should sit before you as a tribunal ? Why I 
should take the trouble to clear myself of a 
senseless charge ? My respect for you inclines 
me to the belief that you are laboring under a 
momentary excitement ; for when you reflect 
that I am a prominent, not to say famous, au 
thor, you will realize how absurd it is that I 
should be an embezzler, and why I decline to 
lower myself by an explanation." 

Mr. Trevor picked up the paper and struck it. 

"Do you refuse to say anything in the face 
of such evidence as that ? " he cried. 

"It is not a matter for refusal, Mr. Trevor. 
It is simply that I cannot admit the possibility 
of having committed the crime." 

"Well, sir," said the senator, his black neck 
tie working out of place as his anger got the 



The Celebrity 167 

better of him, " I am to believe, then, because 
you claim to be the author of a few society 
novels, that you are infallible ? Let me tell 
you that the President of the United States 
himself is liable to impeachment, and bound 
to disprove any charge he may be accused of. 
What in Halifax do I care for your divine- 
right-of -authors theory ? I'll continue to think 
you guilty until you are shown to be inno 
cent." 

Suddenly the full significance of the Celeb 
rity's tactics struck Mr. Cooke, and he reached 
out and caught hold of Mr. Trevor's coat- 
tails. 

"Hold on, old man," said he; "Allen isn't 
going to be ass enough to own up to it. Don't 
you see we'd all be jugged and fined for assist 
ing a criminal over the border? It's out of con 
sideration for us." 

Mr. Trevor looked sternly over his shoulder 
at Mr. Cooke. 

"Do you mean to say, sir, seriously," he 
asked, "that, for the sake of a misplaced friend 
ship for this man, and a misplaced sense of 
honor, you are bound to shield a guest, though 
a criminal ? That you intend to assist him to 



1 68 The Celebrity 

escape from justice ? I insist, for my own pro 
tection and that of my daughter, as well as for 
that of the others present that, since he refuses 
to speak, we must presume him guilty and turn 
him over." 

Mr. Trevor turned to Mrs. Cooke, as if rely 
ing on her support. 

" Fenelon," said she, " I have never sought 
to influence your actions when your friends 
were concerned, and I shall not begin now. 
All I ask of you is to consider the conse 
quences of your intention." 

These words from Mrs. Cooke had much 
more weight with my client than Mr. Trevor's 
blustering demands. 

" Maria, my dear," he said, with a deferential 
urbanity, " Mr. Allen is my guest, and a gentle 
man. When a gentleman gives his word that 
he is not a criminal, it is sufficient." 

The force of this, for some reason, did not 
overwhelm his wife ; and her lip curled a little, 
half in contempt, half in risibility. 

"Pshaw, Fenelon," said she, "what a fraud 
you are. Why is it you wish to get Mr. Allen 
over the border, then ? " A question which 
might well have staggered a worthier intellect. 



The Celebrity 169 

"Why, my dear," answered my client, "I 
wish to save Mr. Allen the inconvenience, not 
to say the humiliation, of being brought East 
in custody and strapped with a pair of hand 
cuffs. Let him take a shooting trip to the 
great Northwest until the real criminal is 
caught." 

"Well, Fenelon," replied Mrs. Cooke, unable 
to repress a smile, "one might as well try to 
argue with a turn-stile or a weather-vane. I 
wash my hands of it." 

But Mr. Trevor, who was both a self-made 
man and a Western politician, was far from 
being satisfied. He turned to me with a sweep 
of the arm he had doubtless learned in the Ohio 
State Senate. 

"Mr. Crocker," he cried, "are you, as attor 
ney of this district, going to aid and abet in the 
escape of a fugitive from justice ? " 

" Mr. Trevor," said I, " I will take the course 
in this matter which seems fit to me, and with 
out advice from any one." 

He wheeled on Farrar, repeated the question, 
and got a like answer. 

Brought to bay for a time, he glared savagely 
around him while gropiner for further arguments. 



1 70 The Celebrity 

But at this point the Four appeared on the 
scene, much the worse for thickets, and clamor 
ing for luncheon. They had five small fish 
between them which they wanted Miss 
to cook. 



CHAPTER XII 

THE Four received Mr. Cooke's plan for the 
Celebrity's escape to Canada with enthusiastic 
acclamation, and as the one thing lacking to 
make the Bear Island trip a complete success. f 
The Celebrity was hailed with the reverence 
due to the man who puts up the ring-money in 
a prize-fight. He was accorded, too, a certain 
amount of respect as a defaulter, which the 
Four would have denied him as an author, for I 
am inclined to the belief that the discovery of 
his literary profession would have lowered him 
rather than otherwise in their eyes. My client 
was naturally anxious to get under way at once 
for the Canadian border, but was overruled in 
this by his henchmen, who demanded some 
thing to eat. We sat down to an impromptu 
meal, which was an odd affair indeed. Mrs. 
Cooke maintained her usual serenity, but said 
little, while Miss Trevor and I had many a 
mirthful encounter at the thought of the turn 
matters had taken. 



172 The Celebrity 

At the other end of the cloth were Mr. Cooke 
and the Four, in wonderful spirits and unim 
paired appetite, and in their midst sat the 
Celebrity, likewise in wonderful spirits. His 
behavior now and again elicited a loud grunt of 
disapproval from Mr. Trevor, who was plying 
his knife and fork in a manner emblematic of 
his state of mind. Mr. Allen was laughing and 
joking airily with Mr. Cooke and the guests, 
denying, but not resenting, their accusations 
with all the sang froid of a hardened criminal. 
He did not care particularly to go to Canada, 
he said. Why should he, when he was inno 
cent? But, if Mr. Cooke insisted, he would 
enjoy seeing that part of the lake and the 
Canadian side. 

Afterwards I perceived Miss Thorn down by 
the brookside, washing dishes. Her sleeves 
were drawn back to the elbow, and a dainty 
white apron covered her blue skirt, while the 
wind from the lake had disentangled errant 
wisps of her hair. I stood on the brink above, 
secure, as I thought, from observation, when 
she chanced to look up and spied me. 

"Mr. Crocker," she called, "would you like 
to make yourself useful ? " 



The Celebrity 173 

I was decidedly embarrassed. Her manner 
was as frank and unconstrained as though I had 
not been shunning her for weeks past 

" If such a thing is possible," I replied. 

"Do you know a dish-cloth when you see 
one?" 

I was doubtful. But I procured the cloth 
from Miss Trevor and returned. There was an 
air about Miss Thorn that was new to me. 

" What an uncompromising man you are, Mr. 
Crocker," she said to me. "Once a person is 
unfortunate enough to come under the ban of 
your disapproval you have nothing whatever to 
do with them. Now it seems that I have given 
you offence in some way. Is it not so?" 

" You magnify my importance," I said. 

"No temporizing, Mr. Crocker," she went 
on, as though she meant to be obeyed ; " sit 
down there, and let's have it out. I like you 
too well to quarrel with you." 

There was no resisting such a command, and 
I threw myself on the pebbles at her feet. 

"I thought we were going to be great friends," 
she said. " You and Mr. Farrar were so kind 
to me on the night of my arrival, and we had 
such fun watching the dance together." 



174 The Celebrity 

" I confess I thought so, too. But you ex 
pressed opinions then that I shared. You have 
since changed your mind, for some unaccount 
able reason." 

She paused in her polishing, a shining dish in 
her hand, and looked down at me with some 
thing between a laugh and a frown. 

" I suppose you have never regretted speaking 
hastily," she said. 

"Many a time," I returned, warming; "but if 
I ever thought a judgment measured and dis 
tilled, it was your judgment of the Celebrity." 

"Does the study of law eliminate humanity?" 
she asked, with a mock curtsey. " The deliber 
ate sentences are sometimes the unjust ones, 
and men who are hung by weighed wisdom are 
often the innocent." 

"That is all very well in cases of doubt. 
But here you have the evidences of wrong-doing 
directly before you." 

Three dishes were taken up, dried, and put 
down before she answered me. I threw pebbles 
into the brook, and wished I had held my 
tongue. 

" What evidence ? " inquired she. 

"Well," said I, "I must finish, I suppose. I 



The Celebrity 175 

had a notion you knew of what I inferred. 
First, let me say that I have no desire to preju- 
dice you against a person whom you admire." 

" Impossible." 

Something in her tone made me look up. 

'"Very good, then," I answered. "I, for one, 
can have no use for a man who devotes himself 
to a girl long enough to win her affections, and 
then deserts her with as little compunction as a 
dog does a rat it has shaken. And that is how 
your Celebrity treated Miss Trevor." 

" But Miss Trevor has recovered, I believe," 
said Miss Thorn. 

I began to feel a deep, but helpless, inse 
curity. 

" Happily, yes," I assented. 

"Thanks to an excellent physician." 

A smile twitched the corners of her mouth, as 
though she enjoyed my discomfiture. I re 
marked for the fiftieth time how strong her face 
was, with its generous lines and clearly moulded 
features. And a suspicion entered my soul. 

"At any rate," I said, with a laugh, "the 
Celebrity has got himself into no end of a pre 
dicament now. He may go back to New York 
in custody." 



176 The Celebrity 

" I thought you incapable of resentment, Mr. 
Crocker. How mean of you to deny him ! " 

"It can do no harm," I answered; "a little 
lesson in the dangers of incognito may be salu 
tary. I wish it were a little lesson in the 
dangers of something else." 

The color mounted to her face as she resumed 
her occupation. 

" I am afraid you are a very wicked man," she 
said. 

Before I could reply there came a scuffling 
sound from the bank above us, and the snapping 
of branches and twigs. It was Mr. Cooke. 
His descent, the personal conduction of which 
he lost half-way down, was irregular and spas 
modic, and a rude concussion at the bottom 
knocked off a choice bit of profanity which was 
balanced on the tip of his tongue. 

" Tobogganing is a little out of season," said 
his niece, laughing heartily. 

Mr. Cooke brushed himself off, picked up the 
glasses which he had dropped in his flight and 
pushed them into my hands. Then he pointed 
lakeward with bulging eyes. 

" Crocker, old man," he said in aloud whisper, 
" they tell me that is an Asquith cat-boat." 



The Celebrity 177 

I followed his finger and saw for the first time 
a sail-boat headed for the island, then about two 
miles off shore. I raised the glasses. 

"Yes," I said, "the Scimitar" 

"That's what Farrarsaid," cried he. 

"And what about it ?" I asked. 

" What about it ? " he ejaculated. " Why, it's 
a detective come for Allen. I knew sure as 
hell if they got as far as Asquith they wouldn't 
stop there. And that's the fastest sail-boat he 
could hire there, isn't it ? " 

I replied that it was. He seized me by the 
shoulder and began dragging me up the bank. 

"What are you going to do?" I cried, shaking 
myself loose. 

" We've got to get on the Maria and run for 
it," he panted. "There is no time to be 
lost." 

He had reached the top of the bank and was 
running towards the group at the tents. And 
he actually infused me with some of his red-hot 
enthusiasm, for I hastened after him. 

" But you can't begin to get the Maria out 
before they will be in here," I shouted. 

He stopped short, gazed at the approaching 
boat, and then at me. 

N 



1/8 The Celebrity 

" Is that so ? " 

"Yes, of course," said I, "they will be here 
in ten minutes." 

The Celebrity stood in the midst of the excited 
Four. His hair was parted precisely, and he 
had induced a monocle to remain in his eye long 
enough to examine the Scimitar, his nose at the 
critical elevation. This unruffled exterior made 
a deep impression on the Four. Was the Ce 
lebrity not undergoing the crucial test of a true 
sport ? He was an example alike to criminals 
and philosophers. 

Mr. Cooke hurried into the group, which 
divided respectfully for him, and grasped the 
Celebrity by the hand. 

"Something else has got to be done, old 
man," he said, in a voice which shook with emo 
tion ; " they'll be on us before we can get the 
Maria out." 

Farrar, who was nailing a rustic bench near 
by, straightened up at this, his lip curling with 
a desire to laugh. 

The Celebrity laid his hand on my client's 
shoulder. 

" Cooke," said he, " I'm deeply grateful for 
all the trouble you wish to take, and for the 



The Celebrity 179 

solicitude you have shown. But let things be. 
I'll come out of it all right." 

" Never," cried Cooke, looking proudly around 
the Four as some Highland chief might have 
surveyed a faithful clan. " I'd a damned sight 
rather go to jail myself." 

"A damned sight," echoed the Four in unison. 

" I insist, Cooke," said the Celebrity, taking 
out his eyeglass and tapping Mr. Cooke's purple 
necktie, "I insist that you drop this business. I 
repeat my thanks to you and these gentlemen 
for the friendship they have shown, but say again 
that I am as innocent of this crime as a baby." 

Mr. Cooke paid no attention to this speech. 
His face became radiant. 

" Didn't any of you fellows strike a cave, or a 
hollow tree, or something of that sort, knocking 
around this morning ? " 

One man slapped his knee. 

"The very place," he cried. "I fell into it," 
and he showed a rent in his trousers corrobora- 
tively. "It's big enough to hold twenty of 
Allen, and the detective doesn't live that could 
find it." 

"Hustle him off, quick," said Mr. Cooke. 

The mandate was obeyed as literally as 



i8o The Celebrity 

though Robin Hood himself had given it. The 
Celebrity disappeared into the forest, carried 
rather than urged towards his destined place of 
confinement. 

The commotion had brought Mr. Trevor to 
the spot. He caught sight of the Celebrity's 
back between the trees, then he looked at the 
cat-boat entering the cove, a man in the stern 
preparing to pull in the tender. He intercepted 
Mr. Cooke on his way to the beach. 

" What have you done with Mr. Allen ? " he 
asked, in a menacing voice. 

" Good God," said Mr. Cooke, whose contempt 
for Mr. Trevor was now infinite, "you talk as 
if I were the governor of the state. What the 
devil could I do with him ? " 

" I will have no evasion," replied Mr. Trevor, 
taking an imposing posture in front of him. 
" You are try ing to defeat the ends of justice by 
assisting a dangerous criminal to escape. I have 
warned you, sir, and warn you again of the con 
sequences of your meditated crime, and I give 
you my word I will do all in my power to frus 
trate it." 

Mr. Cooke dug his thumbs into his waistcoat 
pockets. Here was a complication he had not 



The Celebrity 181 

looked for. The Scimitar lay at anchor with 
her sail down, and two men were coming ashore 
in the tender. Mr. Cooke's attitude being that of 
a man who reconsiders a rash resolve, Mr. Trevor 
was emboldened to say in a moderated tone : 

" You were carried away by your generosity, 
Mr. Cooke. I was sure when you took time to 
think you would see it in another light." 

Mr. Cooke started off for the place where the 
boat had grounded. I did not catch his reply, 
and probably should not have written it here if 
I had. The senator looked as if he had been 
sand-bagged. 

The two men jumped out of the boat and 
hauled it up. Mr. Cooke waved an easy salute 
to one, whom I recognized as the big boatman 
from Asquith, familiarly known as Captain Jay. 
He owned the Scimitar and several smaller 
boats. The captain went through the panto 
mime of an introduction between Mr. Cooke and 
the other, whom my client shook warmly by 
the hand, and presently all three came towards 
us. 

Mr. Cooke led them to a bar he had impro 
vised by the brook. A pool served the office 
of refrigerator, and Mr. Cooke had devised an in- 



1 82 The Celebrity 

genious but complicated arrangement of strings 
and labels which enabled him to extract any 
bottle or set of bottles without having to bare 
his arm and pull out the lot. Farrar and I 
responded to the call he had given, and went 
down to assist in the entertainment. My client, 
with his back to us, was busy manipulating the 
strings. 

"Gentlemen," he said, "let me make you 
acquainted with Mr. Drew. You all know the 
captain." 

Had I not suspected Mr. Drew's profession, 
I think I should not have remarked that he 
gave each of us a keen look as he raised his 
head. He had reddish-brown hair, and a pair 
of bushy red whiskers, each of which tapered to 
a long point. He was broad in the shoulders, 
and the clothes he wore rather enhanced this 
breadth. His suit was gray and almost new, 
the trousers perceptibly bagging at the knee, 
and he had a felt hat, a necktie of the white 
and flowery pattern, and square-toed "Con 
gress " boots. In short, he was a decidedly 
ordinary looking person ; you would meet a 
hundred like him in the streets of Far Harbor 
and Beaverton. He might have been a prosper- 



The Celebrity 183 

ous business man in either of those towns, a 
comfortable lumber merchant or mine owner. 
And he had chosen just the get-up I should 
have picked for detective work in that region. 
He had a pleasant eye and a very fetching and 
hearty manner. But his long whiskers troubled 
me especially. I kept wondering if they were 
real. 

"The captain is sailing Mr. Drew over to 
Far Harbor," explained Mr. Cooke, "and they 
have put in here for the night." 

Mr. Drew was plainly not an amateur, for he 
volunteered nothing further than this. The nec 
essary bottles having been produced, Mr. Cooke 
held up his glass and turned to the stranger. 

" Welcome to our party, old man," said he. 

Mr. Drew drained his glass and complimented 
Mr. Cooke on the brand, a sure key to my 
client's heart. Whereupon he seated himself 
between Mr. Drew and the captain and began 
a discourse on the subject of his own cellar, on 
which he talked for nearly an hour. His only 
pauses were for the worthy purpose of filling 
the detective's or the captain's glass, and these 
he watched with a hospitable solicitude. The 
captain had the advantage, three to one, and I 



184 The Celebrity 

made no doubt his employer bitterly regretted 
not having a boatman whose principles were 
more strict. At the end of the hour Captain 
Jay, who by nature was inclined to be taciturn 
and crabbed, waxed loquacious and even jovial. 
He sang us the songs he had learned in the 
winter lumber-camps, which Mr. Cooke never 
failed to encore to the echo. My client vowed 
he had not spent a pleasanter afternoon for 
years. He plied the captain with cigars, and 
explained to him the mystery of the strings and 
labels; and the captain experimented until he 
had broken some of the bottles. 

Mr. Cooke was not a person who made any 
great distinction between the three degrees, 
acquaintance, friendship, and intimacy. When 
a stranger pleased him, he went from one to the 
other with such comparative ease that a hard 
hearted man, and no other, could have resented 
his advances. Mr. Drew was anything but a 
hard-hearted man, and he did not object to my 
client's familiarity. Mr. Cooke made no secret 
of his admiration for Mr. Drew, and there were 
just two things about him that Mr. Cooke ad 
mired and wondered at, above all else, the 
bushy red whiskers. But it appeared that these 



The Celebrity 185 

were the only things that Mr. Drew was really 
touchy about. I noticed that the detective, 
without being impolite, did his best to discour 
age these remarks ; but my client knew no such 
word as discouragement. He was continually 
saying: "I think I'll grow some like that, old 
man," or "Have those cut," and the like, a 
kind of humor in which the captain took an in 
credible delight. And finally, when a certain 
pitch of good feeling had been arrived at, Mr. 
Cooke reached out and playfully grabbed hold 
of the one near him. The detective drew 
back. 

" Mr. Cooke," said he, with dignity, " I'll have 
to ask you to let my whiskers alone." 

" Certainly, old man," replied my client, any 
thing but abashed. " You'll pardon me, but 
they seemed too good to be true. I congratu 
late you on them." 

I was amused as well as alarmed at this piece 
of boldness, but the incident passed off without 
any disagreeable results, except, perhaps, a slight 
nervousness noticeable in the detective ; and this 
soon disappeared. As the sun grew low, the 
Celebrity's conductors straggled in with fishing- 
rods, and told of an afternoon's sport, and we 



1 86 The Celebrity 

left the captain peacefully but sonorously slum 
bering on the bank. 

" Crocker," said my client to me, afterwards, 
"they didn't feel like the real, home-grown 
article. But aren't they damned handsome ? " 



CHAPTER XIII 

AFTER supper, Captain Jay was rowed out 
and put to bed in his own bunk on the Scimi 
tar. Then we heaped together a huge pile of 
the driftwood on the beach and raised a blazing 
beacon, the red light of which I doubt not could 
be seen from the mainland. The men made 
prongs from the soft wood, while Miss Thorn 
produced from the stores some large tins of 
marshmallows. 

The memory of that evening lingers with me 
yet. The fire colored everything. The waves 
dashed in ruby foam at our feet, and even the 
tall, frowning pines at our backs were softened ; 
the sting was gone out of the keen night wind 
from the north. I found a place beside the gray 
cape I had seen for the first time the night of 
the cotillon. I no longer felt any great dislike 
for Miss Thorn, let it be known. Resentment 
was easier when the distance between Mohair 
and Asquith separated us, impossible on a 
187 



1 88 The Celebrity 

yachting excursion. But why should I be jus- 
tifying myself ? 

Mr. Cooke and the Four, in addition to other 
accomplishments, possessed excellent voices, and 
Mr. Drew sang a bass which added much to the 
melody. One of the Four played a banjo. It 
is only justice to Mr. Drew to say that he 
seemed less like a detective than any man I 
have ever met. He told a good story and was 
quick at repartee, and after a while the music, 
by tacit consent, was abandoned for the sake 
of hearing him talk. He related how he had 
worked up the lake, point by point, from Bea- 
verton to Asquith, and lightened his narrative 
with snappy accounts of the different boatmen 
he had run across and of the different predica 
ments into which he had fallen. His sketches 
were so vivid that Mr. Cooke forgot to wink at 
me after a while and sat spellbound, while I 
marvelled at the imaginative faculty he dis 
played. He had us in roars of laughter. His 
stories were far from incredible, and he looked 
less like a liar than a detective. He showed, 
too, an accurate and astonishing knowledge of 
the lake which could hardly have been acquired 
in any other way than the long-shore trip he had 



The Celebrity 189 

described. Not once did he hint of a special 
purpose which had brought him to the island, 
and it was growing late. 

The fire died down upon the stones, and the 
thought of the Celebrity, alone in a dark cave 
in the middle of the island, began to prey upon 
me. I was not designed for a practical joker, 
and I take it that pity is a part of every self- 
respecting man's composition. In the cool of 
the night season the ludicrous side of the matter 
did not appeal to me quite as strongly as in the 
glare of day. A joke should never be pushed 
to cruelty. It was in vain that I argued I had 
no direct hand in the concealing of him ; I felt 
my responsibility quite as heavy upon me. Per 
haps bears still remained in these woods. And 
if a bear should devour the author of The Syba 
rites, would the world ever forgive me ? Could 
I ever repay the debt to the young women of 
these United States ? 

To speak truth, I expected every moment to 
see him appear. Why, in the name of all his 
works, did he stay there ? Nothing worse could 
befall him than to go to Far Harbor with Drew, 
where our words concerning his identity would 
be taken. And what an advertisement this 



190 The Celebrity 

would be for the great author. The Sybarites, 
now selling by thousands, would increase its 
sales to ten thousands. Ah, there was the rub. 
The clue to his remaining in the cave was this 
very kink in the Celebrity's character. There 
was nothing Bohemian in that character; it 
yearned after the eminently respectable. Its 
very eccentricities were within the limits of 
good form. The Celebrity shunned ' the bis 
cuits and beer of the literary clubs, and his 
books were bound for the boudoir. To have it 
proclaimed in the sensational journals that the 
hands of this choice being had been locked for 
grand larceny was a thought too horrible to en 
tertain. His very manservant would have cried 
aloud against it. Better a hundred nights in a 
cave than one such experience ! 

Miss Trevor's behavior that evening was so 
unrestful as to lead me to believe that she, too, 
was going through qualms of sympathy for the 
victim. As we were breaking up for the even 
ing she pulled my sleeve. 

"Don't you think we have carried our joke 
a little too far, Mr. Crocker?" she whispered 
uneasily. " I can't bear to think of him in that 
terrible place." 



The Celebrity 191 

"It will do him a world of good," I replied, 
assuming a gayety I did not feel. It is not 
pleasant to reflect that some day one's own 
folly might place one in a like situation. And 
the night was dismally cool and windy, now 
that the fire had gone out. Miss Trevor began 
to philosophize. 

" Such practical pleasantries as this," she 
said, "are like infernal machines: they often 
blow up the people that start them. And they 
are next to impossible to steer." 

"Perhaps it is just as well not to assume we 
are the instruments of Providence," I said. 

Here we ran into Miss Thorn, who was carry 
ing a lantern. 

"I have been searching everywhere for you 
two mischief-makers," said she. "You ought 
to be ashamed of yourselves. Heaven only 
knows how this little experiment will end. 
Here is Aunt Maria, usually serene, on the 
verge of hysterics : she says he shouldn't stay 
in that damp cave another minute. Here is 
your father^ Irene, organizing relief parties and 
walking the floor of his tent like a madman. 
And here is Uncle Fenelon insane over the 
idea of getting the poor, innocent man into 



192 The Celebrity 

Canada. And here is a detective saddled upon 
us, perhaps for days, and Uncle Fenelon has 
gotten his boatman drunk. You ought to be 
ashamed of yourselves," she repeated. 

Miss Trevor laughed, in spite of the gravity 
of these things, and so did I. 

" Oh, come, Marian," said she, " it isn't as 
bad as all that. And you talk as if you hadn't 
anything to be reproached for. Your own de 
fence of the Celebrity wasn't as strong as it 
might have been." 

By the light of the lantern I saw Miss Thorn 
cast one meaning look at Miss Trevor. 

" What are you going to do about it ? " asked 
Miss Thorn, addressing me. "Think of that 
unhappy man, without a bed, without blankets, 
without even a tooth-brush." 

"He hasn't been wholly off my mind," I 
answered truthfully. "But there isn't any 
thing we can do to-night, with that beastly 
detective to notice it." 

"Then you must go very early to-morrow 
morning, before the detective gets up." . 

I couldn't help smiling at the notion of get 
ting up before a detective. 

" I am only too willing," I said. 



The Celebrity 193 

"It must be by four o'clock," Miss Thorn 
went on energetically, "and we must have a 
guide we can trust. Arrange it with one of 
Uncle Fenelon's friends." 

"We?" I repeated. 

" You certainly don't imagine that I am going 
to be left behind ? " said Miss Thorn. 

I made haste to invite for the expedition one 
of the Four, who was quite willing to go ; and 
we got together all the bodily comforts we 
could think of and put them in a hamper, the 
Fraction not forgetting to add a few bottles 
from Mr. Cooke's immersed bar. 

JLong after the camp had gone to bed, I lay 
on the pine-needles above the brook, shielded 
from the wind by a break in the slope, and 
thought of the strange happenings of that day. 
Presently the waning moon climbed reluctantly 
from the waters, and the stream became mottled, 
black and white, the trees tall blurs. The lake 
rose and fell with a mighty rhythm, and the 
little brook hurried madly over the stones to 
join it. One thought chased another from my 
brain. 

At such times, when one's consciousness of 
outer things is dormant, an earthquake might 



194 The Celebrity 

continue for some minutes without one realizing 
it. I did not observe, though I might have 
seen from where I lay, the flap of one of the 
tents drawn back and two figures emerge. They 
came and stood on the bank above, under the 
tree which sheltered me. And I experienced 
a curious phenomenon. I heard, and under 
stood, and remembered the first part of the 
conversation which passed between them, and 
did not know it. 

" I am sorry to disturb you," said one. 

"Not at all," said the other, whose tone, I 
thought afterwards, betokened surprise, and 
no great cheerfulness. 

"But I have had no other opportunity to 
speak with you." 

" No," said the other, rather uneasily. 

Suddenly my senses were alert, and I knew 
that Mr. Trevor had pulled the detective out 
of bed. The senator had no doubt anticipated 
an easier time, and he now began feeling for 
an opening. More than once he cleared his 
throat to commence, while Mr. Drew pulled 
his scant clothing closer about him, his whiskers 
playing in the breeze. 

"In Cincinnati, Mr. Drew," said Mr. Trevor, 



The Celebrity 195 

at length, " I am a known, if not an influential, 
citizen ; and I have served my state for three 
terms in its Senate." 

"I have visited your city, Mr. Trevor," an 
swered Mr. Drew, his teeth chattering audibly, 
"and I know you by reputation." 

" Then, sir," Mr. Trevor continued, with a 
flourish which appeared absolutely grotesque 
in his attenuated costume, "it must be clear 
to you that I cannot give my consent to a fla 
grant attempt by an unscrupulous person to 
violate the laws of this country." 

" Your feelings are to be respected, sir." 

Mr. Trevor cleared his throat again. 

"Discretion is always to be observed, Mr. 
Drew. And I, who have been in the public 
service, know the full value of it." 

Mr. Trevor leaned forward, at the same time 
glancing anxiously up at the tree, for fear, 
perhaps, that Mr. Cooke might be concealed 
therein. He said in a stage whisper : 

"A criminal is concealed on this island." 

Drew started perceptibly. 

"Yes," said Mr. Trevor, with a glance of 
triumph at having produced an impression on 
a detective, " I thought it my duty to inform 



196 The Celebrity 

you. He has been hidden by the followers of 
the unscrupulous person I referred to, in a cave, 
I believe. I repeat, sir, as a man of unim 
peachable standing, I considered it my duty 
to tell you." 

"You have my sincere thanks, Mr. Trevor," 
said Drew, holding out his hand, "and I shall 
act on the suggestion." 

Mr. Trevor clasped the hand of the detective, 
and they returned quietly to their respective 
tents. And in course of time I followed them, 
wondering how this incident might affect our 
morning's expedition. 



CHAPTER XIV 

MY first thought on rising was to look for 
the detective. The touch of the coming day 
was on the lake, and I made out the two boats 
dimly, riding on the dead swell and tugging 
idly at their chains. The detective had been 
assigned to a tent which was occupied by 
Mr. Cooke and the Four, and they were sleep 
ing soundly at my entrance. But Drew's blank 
ets were empty. I hurried to the beach, but 
the Scimitar's boat was still drawn up there 
near the Maria's tender, proving that he was 
still on the island. 

Outside of the ladies' tent I came upon Miss 
Thorn, stowing a large basket. I told her that 
we had taken that precaution the night before. 

" What did you put in ? " she demanded. 

I enumerated the articles as best I could. 
And when I had finished, she said, 

"And I am filling this with the things you 
have forgotten." 

I lost no time in telling her what I had over- 
197 



198 The Celebrity 

heard the night before, and that the detective 
was gone from his tent. She stopped her pack 
ing and looked at me in concern. 

" He is probably watching us," she said. " Do 
you think we had better go ? " 

I thought it could do no harm. " If we are 
followed," said I, "all we have to do is to turn 
back." 

Miss Trevor came out as I spoke, and our 
conductor appeared, bending under the hamper. 
I shouldered some blankets and the basket, and 
we started. We followed a rough path, evi 
dently cut by a camping party in some past 
season, but now overgrown. The Fraction 
marched ahead, and I formed the rear guard. 
Several times it seemed to me as though some 
one were pushing after us, and more than once 
we halted. I put down the basket and went 
back to reconnoitre. Once I believed I saw a 
figure flitting in the gray light, but I set it down 
to my imagination. 

Finally we reached a brook, sneaking along be 
neath the underbrush as though fearing to show 
itself, and we followed its course. Branches 
lashed our faces and brambles tore our clothes. 
And then, as the sunlight was filtering through 



The Celebrity 199 

and turning the brook from blue to crystal, we 
came upon the Celebrity. He was seated in a 
little open space on the bank, apparently care 
less of capture. He did not even rise at our 
approach. His face showed the effect of a 
sleepless night and wore an expression inimical 
to all mankind. The conductor threw his bundle 
on the bank and laid his hand on the Celebrity's 
shoulder. 

" Halloa, old man ! " said he, cheerily. " You 
must have had a hard night of it. But we 
couldn't make you any sooner, because that 
hawk of an officer had his eye on us." 

The Celebrity shook himself free. And in 
place of the gratitude for which the Fraction 
had looked, and which he had every reason to 
expect, he got something different. 

"This outrage has gone far enough," said the 
Celebrity, with a terrible calmness. The Frac 
tion was a man of the world. 

" Come, come, old chap ! " he said soothingly, 
" don't cut up. We'll make things a little more 
homelike here." And he pulled a bottle from 
the depths of the hamper. "This will brace 
you up." 

He picked up the hamper and disappeared 



2OO The Celebrity 

into the place of retention, while the Celebrity 
threw the bottle into the brush. And just then 
(may I be forgiven if I am imaginative !) I heard 
a human laugh come from that direction. In 
the casting of that bottle the Celebrity had 
given vent to some of the feelings he had been 
collecting overnight, and it must have carried 
about thirty yards. I dived after it like a re 
triever puppy for a stone ; but the bottle was 
gone ! Perhaps I could say more, but it doesn't 
do to believe in yourself too thoroughly when 
you get up early. I had nothing to say when I 
returned. 

"You here, Crocker?" said the author, fix 
ing his eye on me. "Deuced kind of you to 
get up so early and carry a basket so far for 
me." 

"It has been a real pleasure, I assure you," 
I protested. And it had. 

There was a silent space while the two young 
ladies regarded him, softened by his haggard 
and dishevelled aspect, and perplexed by his 
attitude. Nothing, I believe, appeals to a 
woman so much as this very lack of bodily 
care. And the rogue knew it ! 

" How long is this little game of yours to con- 



The Celebrity 201 

tinue, this bull-baiting ? " he inquired. " How 
long am I to be made a butt of for the amuse 
ment of a lot of imbeciles ? " 

Miss Thorn crossed over and seated herself 
on the ground beside him. 

" You must be sensible," she said, in a tone 
that she might have used to a spoiled child. 
" I know it is difficult after the night you have 
had. But you have always been willing to 
listen to reason." 

A pang of something went through me when 
I saw them together. 

" Reason," said the Celebrity, raising his head. 
" Reason, yes. But where is the reason in all 
this ? Because a man who happens to be my 
double commits a crime, is it right that I, whose 
reputation is without a mark, should be made to 
suffer ? And why have I been made a fool of 
by two people whom I had every cause to sup 
pose my friends ? " 

"You will have to ask them," replied Miss 
Thorn, with a glance at us. "They are mis 
chief-makers, I'll admit ; but they are not mali 
cious. See what they have done this morning ! 
And how could they have foreseen that a de 
tective was on his way to the island ? " 



2O2 The Celebrity 

"Crocker might have known it," said he, 
melting. " He's so cursed smart ! " 

"And think," Miss Thorn continued, quick 
to follow up an advantage, " think what would 
have happened if they hadn't denied you. This 
horrid man would have gone off with you to 
Asquith or somewhere else, with handcuffs on 
your wrists ; for it isn't a detective's place to 
take evidence, Mr. Crocker says. Perhaps we 
should all have had to go to Epsom ! And 
I couldn't bear to see you in handcuffs, you 
know." 

" Don't you think we had better leave them 
alone ? " I said to Miss Trevor. 

She smiled and shook her head. 

"You are blind as a bat, Mr. Crocker," she 
said. 

The Celebrity had weighed Miss Thorn's 
words and was listening passively now while 
she talked. There may be talents which she 
did not possess ; I will not pretend to say. But 
I know there are many professions she might 
have chosen had she not been a woman: She 
would have made a name for herself at the bar ; 
as a public speaker she would have excelled. 
And had I not been so long accustomed to 



The Celebrity 203 

picking holes in arguments I am sure I should 
not have perceived the fallacies of this she was 
making for the benefit of the Celebrity. He 
surely did not. It is strange how a man can 
turn under such influence from one feeling to 
another. The Celebrity lost his resentment ; 
apprehension took its place. He became more 
and more nervous ; questioned me from time to 
time on the law ; wished to know whether he 
would be called upon for testimony at Allen's 
trial ; whether there was any penalty attached 
to the taking of another man's name ; precisely 
what Drew would do with him if captured ; and 
the tail of his eye was on the thicket as he made 
this inquiry. It may be surmised that I took 
an exquisite delight in quenching this new-born 
thirst for knowledge. And finally we all went 
into the cave. 

Miss Thorn unpacked the things we had 
brought, while I surveyed the cavern. It was 
in the solid rock, some ten feet high and irregu 
lar in shape, and perfectly dry. It was a mar 
vel to me how cosy she made it. One of the 
Marias lanterns was placed in a niche, and the 
Celebrity's silver toilet-set laid out on a ledge 
of the rock, which answered perfectly for a 



2O4 The Celebrity 

dressing-table. Miss Thorn had not forgotten 
a small mirror. And as a last office, set a dainty 
breakfast on a linen napkin on the rock, heating 
the coffee in a chafing-dish. 

" There ! " she exclaimed, surveying her labors, 
"I hope you will be more comfortable." 

He had already taken the precaution to brush 
his hair and pull himself together. His thanks, 
such as they were, he gave to Miss Thorn. It is 
true that she had done more than any one else. 

"Good-bye, old boy!" said the Fraction. 
"We'll come back when we get the chance, 
and don't let that hundred thousand keep you 
awake." 

The Fraction and I covered up the mouth of 
the cave with brush. He became confidential. 

" Lucky dog, Allen ! " he said. " They'll never 
get him away from Cooke. And he can have 
any girl he wants for the asking. By George! 
I believe Miss Thorn will elope with him if he 
ever reaches Canada." 

I only mention this as a sample of the Frac 
tion's point of view. I confess the remark an 
noyed me at the time. 

Miss Thorn lingered in the cave for a minute 
after Miss Trevor came out. Then we retraced 



The Celebrity 205 

our way down the brook, which was dancing 
now in the sunlight. Miss Trevor stopped now 
and then to rest, in reality to laugh. I do not 
know what the Fraction thought of such heart 
less conduct. He and I were constantly on the 
alert for Mr. Drew, but we sighted the camp 
without having encountered him. It was half- 
past six, and we had trusted to slip in unnoticed 
by any one. But, as we emerged from the 
trees, the bustling scene which greeted our 
eyes filled us with astonishment. Two of the 
tents were down, and the third in a collapsed 
condition, while confusion reigned supreme. 
And in the midst of it all stood Mr. Cooke, 
an animated central figure pedestalled on a 
stump, giving emphatic directions in a voice 
of authority. He spied us from his elevated 
position before we had crossed the brook. 

" Here they come, Maria," he shouted. 

We climbed to the top of the slope, and 
were there confronted by Mrs. Cooke and Mr. 
Trevor, with Mr. Cooke close behind them. 

" Where the devil is Allen ? " my client de 
manded excitedly of the Fraction. 

" Allen ? " repeated that gentleman, " why, 
we made him comfortable and left him, of 



206 The Celebrity 

course. We had sense enough not to bring 
him here to be pulled." 

" But, you damfool," cried Mr. Cooke, slightly 
forgetting himself, " Drew has escaped." 

" Escaped ? " 

" Yes, escaped," said Mr. Cooke, as though 
our conductor were personally responsible ; " he 
got away this morning. Before we know it, 
we'll have the whole police force of Far Harbor 
out here to jug the lot of us." 

The Fraction, being deficient for the moment 
in language proper to express his appreciation of 
this new development, simply volunteered to re 
turn for the Celebrity, and left in a great hurry. 

" Irene," said Mr. Trevor, " can it be possi 
ble that you have stolen away for the express 
purpose of visiting this criminal ? " 

"If he is a criminal, father, it is no reason 
that he should starve." 

" It is no reason," cried her father, hotly, 
"why a young girl who has been brought up 
as you have, should throw every lady-like in 
stinct to the winds. There are men enough 
in this camp to keep him from starving. I 
will not have my daughter's name connected 
with that of a defaulter. Irene, you have set 



The Celebrity 207 

the seal of disgrace upon a name which I have 
labored for a lifetime to make one of the proud 
est in the land. And it was my fond hope that 
I possessed a daughter who " 

During this speech my anger had been 
steadily rising. But it was Mrs. Cooke who 
interrupted him. 

" Mr. Trevor," said she, " perhaps you are 
not aware that while you are insulting your 
daughter, you are also insulting my niece. It 
may be well for you to know that Miss Trevor 
still has my respect as a woman and my admira 
tion as a lady. And, since she has been so 
misjudged by her father, she has my deepest 
sympathy. But I wish to beg of you, if you 
have anything of this nature to say to her, you 
will take her feelings into consideration as well 
as ours." 

Miss Trevor gave her one expressive look of 
gratitude. The senator was effectually silenced. 
He had come, by some inexplicable inference, 
to believe that Mrs. Cooke, while subservient 
to the despotic will of her husband, had been 
miraculously saved from depravity, and had set 
her face against this last monumental act of 
outlawry. 



CHAPTER XV 

I AM convinced that Mr. Cooke possessed at 
least some of the qualities of a great general. 
In certain campaigns of past centuries, and 
even of this, it has been hero-worship that im 
pelled the rank and file rather than any high 
sympathy with the cause they were striving 
for. And so it was with us that morning. 
Our commander was everywhere at once, en 
couraging us to work, and holding over us in 
impressive language the awful alternative of 
capture. For he had the art, in a high degree, 
of inoculating his followers with the spirit which 
animated him ; and shortly, to my great sur 
prise, I found myself working as though my 
life depended on it. I certainly did not care 
very much whether the Celebrity was captured 
or not, and yet, with the prospect of getting 
him over the border, I had not thought of 
breakfast. Farrar had a natural inclination for 
work of this sort, but even he was infused 
somewhat with the contagious haste and en- 
208 



The Celebrity 209 

thusiasm which filled the air ; and together we 
folded the tents with astonishing despatch and 
rowed them out to the Maria, Mr. Cooke hav 
ing gone to his knees in the water to shove the 
boat off. 

"What are we doing this for?" said Farrar 
to me, as we hoisted the sail. 

We both laughed. 

"I have just been asking myself that ques 
tion," I replied. 

"You are a nice district attorney, Crocker," 
he said. " You have made a most proper and 
equitable decision in giving your consent to 
Allen's escape. Doesn't your conscience smart ? " 

" Not unbearably. I'll tell you what, Farrar," 
said I, " the truth is, that this fellow never em 
bezzled so much as a ten-cent piece. He isn't 
guilty : he isn't the man." 

" Isn't the man ? " repeated Farrar. 

"No," I answered; "it's a long tale, and no 
time to tell it now. But he is really, as he 
claims to be, the author of all those detestable 
books we have been hearing so much of." 

" The deuce he is ! " exclaimed Farrar, drop 
ping the stopper he was tying. " Did he write 
The Sybarites ? " 



2io The Celebrity 

"Yes, sir; he wrote The Sybarites, and all 
the rest of that trash." 

" He's the fellow that maintains a man ought 
to marry a girl after he has become engaged to 
her." 

" Exactly," I said, smiling at his way of put 
ting it. 

"Preaches constancy to all men, but doesn't 
object to stealing." 

I laughed. 

" You're badly mixed," I explained. " I told 
you he never stole anything. He was only ass 
enough to take the man's name who is the 
living image of him. And the other man took 
the bonds." 

"Oh, come now," said he, "tell me some 
thing improbable while you are about it." 

" It's true," I replied, repressing my mirth ; 
"true as the tale of Timothy. I knew him 
when he was a mere boy. But I don't give you 
that as a proof, for he might have become all 
things to all men since. Ask Miss Trevor ; or 
Miss Thorn ; she knows the other man, the 
bicycle man, and has seen them both together." 

" Where, in India ? Was one standing on 
the ground looking at his double go to heaven ? 



The Celebrity 211 

Or was it at one of those drawing-room shows 
where a medium holds conversation with your 
soul, while your body sleeps on the lounge ? 
By George, Crocker, I thought you were a 
sensible man." 

No wonder I got angry. But I might have 
come at some proper estimation of Farrar's 
incredulity by that time. 

" I suppose you wouldn't take a lady's word," 
I growled. 

" Not for that," he said, busy again with the 
sail stops ; " nor St. Chrysostom's, were he to 
come here and vouch for it. It is too damned 
improbable." 

" Stranger things than that have happened," 
I retorted, fuming. 

"Not to any of us," he said. Presently he 
added, chuckling : " He'd better not get into 
the clutches of that man Drew." 

"What do you mean ? " I demanded. Farrar 
was exasperating at times. 

" Drew will wind those handcuffs on him like 
tourniquets," he laughed. 

There seemed to be something behind this 
remark, but before I could inquire into it we 
were interrupted by Mr. Cooke, who was stand- 



212 The Celebrity 

ing on the beach, swearing and gesticulating for 
the boat. 

" I trust," said Farrar, as we rowed ashore, 
"that this blind excitement will continue, and 
that we shall have the extreme pleasure of set 
ting down our friend in Her Majesty's domin 
ions with a yachting-suit and a ham sandwich." 

We sat down to a hasty breakfast, in the 
middle of which the Celebrity arrived. His 
appearance was unexceptionable, but his heavy 
jaw was set in a manner which should have 
warned Mr. Cooke not to trifle with him. 

"Sit down, old man, and take a bite before 
we start for Canada," said my client. 

The Celebrity walked up to him. 

" Mr. Cooke," he began in a menacing tone, 
"it is high time this nonsense was ended. I 
am tired of being made a buffoon of for your 
party. For your gratification I have spent a 
sleepless night in those cold, damp woods ; and 
I warn you that practical joking can be carried 
too far. I will not go to Canada, and I insist 
that you sail me back to Asquith." 

Mr. Cooke winked significantly in our direc 
tion and tapped his head. 

"I don't wonder you're a little upset, old 



The Celebrity 213 

man," he said, humoringly patting him; "but 
sit down for a bite of something, and you'll see 
things differently." 

" I've had my breakfast," he said, taking out 
a cigarette. 

Then Mr. Trevor got up. 

"He demands, sir, to be delivered over to 
the authorities," said he, "and you have no 
right to refuse him. I protest strongly." 

" And you can protest all you damn please," 
retorted my client ; " this isn't the Ohio State 
Senate. Do you know where I would put you, 
Mr. Trevor ? Do you know where you ought 
to be ? In a hen-coop, sir, if I had one here. In 
a hen-coop. What would you do if a man who 
had gone a little out of his mind asked you for 
a gun to shoot himself with ? Give it him, I 
suppose. But I put Mr. Allen ashore in 
Canada, with the funds to get off with, and 
then my duty's done." 

This speech, as Mr. Cooke had no doubt con 
fidently hoped, threw the senator into a frenzy 
of wrath. 

"The day will come, sir," he shouted, shak 
ing his fist at my client, "the day will come 
when you will rue this bitterly." 



214 The Celebrity 

" Don't get off any of your oratorical frills on 
me," replied Mr. Cooke, contemptuously; "you 
ought to be tied and muzzled." 

Mr. Trevor was white with anger. 

" I, for one, will not go to Canada," he cried. 

"You'll stay here and starve, then," said Mr. 
Cooke; "damned little I care." 

Mr. Trevor turned to Farrar, who was biting 
his lip. 

" Mr. Farrar, I know you to be a rising young 
man of sound principles, and Mr. Crocker like 
wise. You are the only ones who can sail. 
Have you reflected that you are about to ruin 
your careers ? " 

"We are prepared to take the chances, I 
think," said Farrar. 

Mr. Cooke looked us over, proudly and grate 
fully, as much as to say that while he lived we 
should not lack the necessities of life. 

At nine we embarked, the Celebrity and Mr. 
Trevor for the same reason that the animals 
took to the ark, because they had to. There 
was a spanking breeze in the west-northwest, 
and a clear sky, a day of days for a sail. Mr. 
Cooke produced a map, which Farrar and I con 
sulted, and without much trouble we hit upon a 



The Celebrity 215 

quiet place to land on the Canadian side. Our 
course was north-northwest, and therefore the 
wind enabled us to hold it without much trouble. 
Bear Island is situated some eighteen miles from 
shore, and about equidistant between Asquith 
and Far Harbor, which latter we had to pass 
on our way northward. 

Although a brisk sea was on, the wind had 
been steady from that quarter all night, and the 
motion was uniform. The Maria was an excel 
lent sea-boat. There was no indication, there 
fore, of the return of that malady which had 
been so prevalent on the passage to Bear Island. 
Mr. Cooke had never felt better, and looked 
every inch a sea-captain in his natty yachting- 
suit. He had acquired a tan on the island ; 
and, as is eminently proper on a boat, he 
affected nautical manners and nautical ways. 
But his vernacular savored so hopelessly of the 
track and stall that he had been able to acquire 
no mastery over the art of marine invective. 
And he possessed not so much as one maritime 
oath. As soon as we had swung clear of the 
cove he made for the weather stays, where he 
assumed a posture not unlike that in the famous 
picture of Farragut ascending Mobile Bay. His 



216 The Celebrity 

leather case was swung over his shoulder, and 
with his glasses he swept the lake in search of 
the Scimitar and other vessels of a like unami- 
able character. 

Although my client could have told you, off 
hand, Jackstraw's last mile in a bicycle sulky, his 
notion of the Scimitars speed was as vague as 
his knowledge of seamanship. And when I 
informed him that in all probability she had 
already passed the light on Far Harbor reef, 
some nine miles this side of the Far Harbor 
police station, he went into an inordinate state 
of excitement. Mr. Cooke was, indeed, that day 
the embodiment of an unselfish if misdirected 
zeal. He was following the dictates of both 
heart and conscience in his endeavor to rescue 
his guest from the law ; and true zeal is inva 
riably contagious. What but such could have 
commanded the unremitting labors of that morn 
ing ? Farrar himself had done three men's work 
before breakfast, and it was, in great part, owing 
to him that we were now leaving the island be 
hind us. He was sailing the Maria that day as 
she will never be sailed again : her lee gunwale 
awash, and a wake like a surveyor's line behind 
her. More than once I called to mind his face- 



The Celebrity 217 

tious observation about Mr. Drew, and won 
dered if he knew more than he had said about 
the detective. 

Once in the open, the Maria showed but small 
consideration for her passengers, for she went 
through the seas rather than over them. And 
Mr. Cooke, manfully keeping his station on the 
weather bow, likewise went through the seas. 
No argument could induce him to leave the 
post he had thus heroically chosen, which was 
one of honor rather than utility, for the lake 
was as vacant of sails as the day that Father 
Marquette (or some one else) first beheld it. 
Under such circumstances ease must be con 
sidered as only a relative term ; and the ac 
commodations of the Maria afforded but two 
comfortable spots, the cabin, and the lea aft 
of the cabin bulkhead. This being the case, 
the somewhat peculiar internal relations of the 
party decided its grouping. 

I know of no worse place than a small yacht, 
or than a large one for that matter, for uncon 
genial people. The Four betook themselves to 
the cabin, which was fortunately large, and 
made life bearable with a game of cards ; while 
Mrs. Cooke, whose adaptability and sense I had 



218 The Celebrity 

come greatly to admire, contented herself with 
a corner and a book. The ungrateful cause of 
the expedition himself occupied another corner. 
I caught sight of him through the cabin sky 
light, and the silver pencil he was holding over 
his note-book showed unmistakable marks of 
teeth. 

Outside, Mr. Trevor, his face wearing an im 
mutable expression of defiance for the wicked 
ness surrounding him, had placed his daughter 
for safe-keeping between himself and the only 
other reliable character on board, the refrig 
erator. But Miss Thorn appeared in a blue 
mackintosh and a pair of heavy yachting-boots, 
courting rather than avoiding a drenching. 
Even a mackintosh is becoming to some 
women. All morning she sat behind Mr. 
Cooke, on the rise of the cabin, her back 
against the mast and her hair flying in the 
wind, and I, for one, was not sorry the Celeb 
rity had given us this excuse for a sail. 



CHAPTER XVI 

ABOUT half-past eleven Mr. Cooke's vigilance 
was rewarded by a glimpse of the lighthouse on 
Far Harbor reef, and almost simultaneously he 
picked up, to the westward, the ragged outline 
of the house-tops and spires of the town itself. 
But as we neared the reef the harbor appeared 
as quiet as a Sunday morning : a few Mackinaws 
were sailing hither and thither, and the Far 
Harbor and Beaverton boat was coming out. 
My client, in view of the peaceful aspect affairs 
had assumed, presently consented to relinquish 
his post, and handed the glasses over to me 
with an injunction to be watchful. 

I promised. And Mr. Cooke, feeling his way 
aft with more discretion than grace, finally de 
scended into the cabin, where he was noisily 
received. And I was left with Miss Thorn. 
While my client had been there in front of us, 
his lively conversation and na'fve if profane re 
marks kept us in continual laughter. When 
with him it was utterly impossible to see any 
219 



22O The Celebrity 

other than the ludicrous side of this madcap 
adventure, albeit he himself was so keenly in 
earnest as to its performance. It was with mis 
giving that I saw him disappear into the hatch 
way, and my impulse was to follow him. Our 
spirits, like those in a thermometer, are never 
stationary : mine were continually being sent up 
or down. The night before, when I had sat 
with Miss Thorn beside the fire, they went up ; 
this morning her anxious solicitude for the Ce 
lebrity had sent them down again. She both 
puzzled and vexed me. I could not desert my 
post as lookout, and I remained in somewhat 
awkward suspense as to what she was going 
to say, gazing at distant objects through the 
glasses. Her remark, when it came, took me 
by surprise. 

"I am afraid," she said seriously, "that Uncle 
Fenelon's principles are not all that they should 
be. His morality is something like his tobacco, 
which doesn't injure him particularly, but is 
dangerous to others." 

I was more than willing to meet her on tho 
neutral ground of Uncle Fenelon. 

" Do you think his principles contagious ? " I 
asked. 



The Celebrity 221 

"They have not met with the opposition they 
deserve," she replied. " Uncle Fenelon's ideas 
of life are not those of other men, yours, for 
instance. And his affairs, mental and material, 
are, happily for him, such that he can generally 
carry out his notions with small inconvenience. 
He is no doubt convinced that he is acting gen 
erously in attempting to rescue the Celebrity 
from a term in prison ; what he does not realize 
is that he is acting ungenerously to other guests 
who have infinitely more at stake." 

" But our friend from Ohio has done his best 
to impress this upon him," I replied, failing to 
perceive her drift ; " and if his words are wasted, 
surely the thing is hopeless." 

"I am not joking," said she. "I was not 
thinking of Mr. Trevor, but of you. I like you, 
Mr. Crocker. You may not believe it, but I do." 

For the life of me I could think of no fitting 
reply to this declaration. Why was that abomi 
nable word " like " ever put into the English 
language ? 

"Yes, I like you," she continued medita 
tively, " in the face of the fact that you persist 
in disliking me." 

" Nothing of the kind." 



222 The Celebrity 

" Oh, I know. You mustn't think me so 
stupid as all that. It is a mortifying truth that 
I like you, and that you have no use for me." 

I have never known how to take a jest from 
a woman. I suppose I should have laughed this 
off. Instead, I made a fool of myself. 

"I shall be as frank with you," I said, "and 
declare that I like you, though I should be much 
happier if I didn't." 

She blushed at this, if I am not mistaken. 
Perhaps it was unlooked for. 

" At any rate," she went on, " I should deem 
it my duty to warn you of the consequences of 
this joke of yours. They may not be all that 
you have anticipated. The consequences for 
you, I mean, which you do not seem to have 
taken into account." 

" Consequences for me ! " I exclaimed. 

" I fear that you will think what I am going 
to say uncalled for, and that I am meddling with 
something that does not concern me. But it 
seems to me that you are undervaluing the thing 
you have worked so hard to attain. They say 
that you have ability, that you have acquired a 
practice and a position which at your age give 
the highest promise for the future. That you 



The Celebrity 223 

are to be counsel for the railroad. In short, that 
you are the coming man in this section of the 
state. I have found this out," said she, cutting 
short my objections, "in spite of the short time 
I have been here." 

" Nonsense ! " I said, reddening in my turn. 

" Suppose that the Celebrity is captured," she 
continued, thrusting her hands into the pockets 
of her mackintosh. "It appears that he is 
shadowed, and it is not unreasonable to expect 
that we shall be chased before the day is over. 
Then we shall be caught red-handed in an 
attempt to get a criminal over the border. 
Please wait until I have finished," she said, 
holding up her hand at an interruption I was 
about to make. "You and I know he is not 
a criminal ; but he might as well be as far as 
you are concerned. As district attorney you 
are doubtless known to the local authorities. 
If the Celebrity is arrested after a long pursuit, 
it will avail you nothing to affirm that you knew 
all along he was the noted writer. You will 
pardon me if I say that they will not believe 
you then. He will be taken East for identifica 
tion. And if I know anything about politics, 
and especially the state of affairs in local poli- 



224 The Celebrity 

tics with which you are concerned, the incident 
and the interval following it will be fatal to your 
chances with the railroad, to your chances in 
general. You perceive, Mr. Crocker, how im 
possible it is to play with fire without being 
burned." 

I did perceive. At the time the amazing 
thoroughness with which she had gone into 
the subject of my own unimportant affairs, the 
astuteness and knowledge of the world she had 
shown, and the clearness with which she had 
put the situation, did not strike me. Nothing 
struck me but the alarming sense of my own 
stupidity, which was as keen as I have ever felt 
it. What man in a public position, however 
humble, has not political enemies ? The image 
of O'Meara was wafted suddenly before me, 
disagreeably near, and his face wore the smile 
of victory. All of Mr. Cooke's money could 
not save me. My spirits sank as the immedi 
ate future unfolded itself, and I even read the 
article in O'Meara's organ, the Northern Lights, 
which was to be instrumental in divesting me 
of my public trust and fair fame generally. 
Yes, if the Celebrity was caught on the other 
side of Far Harbor, all would be up with John 



The Celebrity 22$ 

Crocker! But it would never do to let Miss 
Thorn discover my discomfiture. 

"There is something in what you say," I 
replied, with what bravado I could muster. 

"A little, I think," she returned, smiling; 
"now, what I wish you to do is to make 
Uncle Fenelon put into Far Harbor. If he 
refuses, you can go in in spite of him, since 
you and Mr. Farrar are the only ones who 
can sail. You have the situation in your own 
hands." 

There was certainly wisdom in this, also. 
But the die was cast now, and pride alone was 
sufficient to hold me to the course I had rashly 
begun upon. Pride ! What an awkward thing 
it is, and more difficult for most of us to swal 
low than a sponge. 

" I thank you for this interest in my welfare, 
Miss Thorn," I began. 

"No fine speeches, please, sir," she cut in, 
"but do as I advise." 

"I fear I cannot." 

" Why do you say that ? The thing is sim 
plicity itself." 

" I should lose my self-respect as a practical 
joker. And besides," I said maliciously, " I 
Q 



226 The Celebrity 

started out to have some fun with the Celebrity^ 
and I want to have it." 

"Well," she replied, rather coolly, "of course 
you can do as you choose." 

We were passing within a hundred yards of 
the lighthouse, set cheerlessly on the bald and 
sandy tip of the point. An icy silence sat 
between us, and such a silence is invariably 
insinuating. This one suggested a horrible 
thought. What if Miss Thorn had warned 
me in order to save the Celebrity from humil 
iation ? I thrust it aside, but it returned again 
and grinned. Had she not practised insincerity 
before ? And any one with half an eye could 
see that she was in love with the Celebrity ; 
even the Fraction had remarked it. What 
more natural than, with her cleverness, she 
had hit upon this means of terminating the 
author's troubles by working upon my fears? 

Human weakness often proves too much for 
those of us who have the very best intentions. 
Up to now the refrigerator and Mr. Trevor had 
kept the strictest and most jealous of vigils 
over Irene. But at length the senator suc 
cumbed to the drowsiness which never failed to 
attack him at this hour, and he forgot the dis- 



The Celebrity 227 

repute of his surroundings in a respectable 
sleep. Whereupon his daughter joined us on 
the forecastle. 

" I knew that would happen to papa if I only 
waited long enough," she said. " Oh, he thinks 
you're dreadful, Mr. Crocker. He says that 
nowadays young men haven't any principle. I 
mustn't be seen talking to you." 

" I have been trying to convince Mr. Crocker 
that his stand in the matter is not only im 
moral, but suicidal," said Miss Thorn. "Per 
haps," she added meaningly, "he will listen to 
you." 

" I don't understand," answered Miss Trevor. 

" Miss Thorn has been good enough to point 
out," I explained, "that the political machine in 
this section, which has the honor to detest me, 
will seize upon the pretext of the Celebrity's 
capture to ruin me. They will take the will 
for the deed." 

"Of course they will do just that," cried 
Miss Trevor. " How bright of you to think of 
it, Marian ! " 

Miss Thorn stood up. 

" I leave you to persuade him," said she ; " I 
have no doubt you will be able to do it." 



228 The Celebrity 

With that she left us, quite suddenly. Ab 
ruptly, I thought. And her manner seemed to 
impress Miss Trevor. 

" I wonder what is the matter with Marian," 
said she, and leaned over the skylight. "Why, 
she has gone down to talk with the Celebrity." 

"Isn't that rather natural?" I asked with 
asperity. 

'She turned to me with an amused expression. 

"Her conduct seems to worry you vastly, 
Mr. Crocker. I noticed that you were quite 
upset this morning in the cave. Why was it ? " 

"You must have imagined it," I said stiffly. 

"I should like to know," she said, with the 
air of one trying to solve a knotty problem, " I 
should like to know how many men are as blind 
as you." 

"You are quite beyond me, Miss Trevor," 
I answered; "may I request you to put that 
remark in other words?" 

" I protest that you are a most unsatisfactory 
person," she went on, not heeding my annoy 
ance. "Most abnormally modest people are. 
If I were to stick you with this hat-pin, for 
instance, you would accept the matter as a 
positive insult." 



The Celebrity 229 

'' I certainly should," I said, laughing ; " and, 
besides, it would be painful." 

"There you are," said she, exultingly; "I 
knew it. But I flatter myself there are men 
who would go into an ecstasy of delight if I 
ran a hat-pin into them. I am merely taking 
this as an illustration of my point." 

" It is a very fine point," said I. " But some 
people take pleasure in odd things. I can easily 
conceive of a man gallant enough to suffer the 
agony for the sake of pleasing a pretty girl." 

" I told you so," she pouted ; " you have 
missed it entirely. You are hopelessly blind 
on that side, and numb. Perhaps you didn't 
know that you have had a hat-pin sticking in 
you for some time." 

I began feeling myself, nervously. 

"For more than a month," she cried, "and 
to think that you have never felt it." My 
action was too much for her gravity, and she 
fell back against the skylight in a fit of merri 
ment, which threatened to wake her iather. 
And I hoped it would. 

"It pleases you to speak in parables this 
morning," I said. 

" Mr. Crocker," she began again, when she 



230 The Celebrity 

had regained her speech, "shall I tell you of a 
great misfortune which might happen to a girl?" 

"I should be pleased to hear it," I replied 
courteously. 

"That misfortune, then, would be to fall in 
love with you." 

" Happily that is not within the limits of 
probability," I answered, beginning to be a 
little amused. " But why ? " 

"Lightning often strikes where it is least 
expected," she replied archly. " Listen. If a 
young woman were unlucky enough to lose her 
heart to you, she might do everything but tell 
you, and you would never know it. I scarcely 
believe you would know it if she did tell you." 

I must have jumped unconsciously. 

"Oh, you needn't think I am in love with 
you." 

" Not for a minute," I made haste to say. 

She pointed towards the timber-covered hills 
beyond the shore. 

" Do you see that stream which comes foaming 
down the notch into the lake in front of us ? " 
she asked. " Let us suppose that you lived 
in a cabin beside that brook ; and that once in 
a while, when you went out to draw your water, 



The Celebrity 231 

you saw a nugget of gold washing along with 
the pebbles on the bed. How many days do 
you think you would be in coming to the con 
clusion that there was a pocket of gold some 
where above you, and in starting in search 
of it ? " 

" Not long, surely." 

" Ah, you are not lacking in perception there. 
But if / were to tell you that I knew of the 
existence of such a mine, from various proofs I 
have had, and that the mine was in the posses 
sion of a certain person who was quite willing 
to share it with you on application, you would 
not believe me." 

" Probably not." 

" Well," said Miss Trevor, with a nod of final 
ity, " I was actually about to make such a dis 
closure. But I see it would be useless." 

I confess she aroused my curiosity. No 
coaxing, however, would induce her to interpret. 

"No," she insisted strangely, "if you cannot 
put two and two together, I fear I cannot help 
you. And no one I ever heard of has come to 
any good by meddling." 

Miss Trevor folded her hands across her lap. 
She wore that air which I am led to believe is 



232 The Celebrity 

common to all women who have something of 
importance to disclose ; or at least what they 
consider is of importance. There was an ele 
ment of pity, too, in her expression. For she 
had given me my chance, and my wits had been 
found wanting. 

Do not let it be surmised that I attach any 
great value to such banter as she had been in 
dulging in. At the same time, however, I had 
an uneasy feeling that I had missed something 
which might have been to my advantage. It 
was in vain that I whipped my dull senses ; but 
one conclusion was indicated by all this infer 
ence, and I don't care even to mention that : it 
was preposterous. 

Then Miss Trevor shifted to a very serious 
mood. She honestly did her best to persuade 
me to relinquish our enterprise, to go to Mr. 
Cooke and confess the whole thing. 

" I wish we had washed our hands of this 
Celebrity from the first," she said, with a sigh. 
"How dreadful if you lose your position on 
account of this foolishness ! " 

" But I shan't," I answered reassuringly ; 
" we are getting near the border now, and no 
sign of trouble. And besides/' I added, " I 



The Celebrity 233 

think Miss Thorn tried to frighten me. And 
she very nearly succeeded. It was prettily 
done." 

" Of course she tried to frighten you. I wish 
she had succeeded." 

"But her object was transparent." 

"Her object!" she exclaimed. "Her object 
was to save you." 

" I think not," I replied ; " it was to save the 
Celebrity." 

Miss Trevor rose and grasped one of the sail 
rings to keep her balance. She looked at me 
pityingly. 

" Do you really believe that ? " 

"Firmly." 

"Then you are hopeless, Mr. Crocker, totally 
hopeless. I give you up." 

And she went back to her seat beside the 
refrigerator. 



CHAPTER XVII 

" CROCKER, old man, Crocker, what the devil 
does that mean ? " 

I turned with a start to perceive a bare head 
thrust above the cabin roof, the scant hair flying, 
and two large, brown eyes staring into mine 
full of alarm and reproach. A plump finger 
was pointing to where the sandy reef lay far 
astern of us. 

The Mackinaws were flecked far and wide 
over the lake, and a dirty smudge on the blue 
showed where the Far Harbor and Beaverton 
boat had gone over the horizon. But there, 
over trie point and dangerously close to the 
land, hung another smudge, gradually pushing 
its way like a writhing, black serpent, lakewards. 
Thus I was rudely jerked back to face the 
problem with which we had left the island that 
morning. 

I snatched the neglected glasses from the 
deck and hurried aft to join my client on the 
overhang, but a pipe was all they revealed above 
234 



The Celebrity 235 

the bleak hillocks of sand. My client turned 
to me with a face that was white under the tan. 

" Crocker," he cried, in a tragic voice, " it's a 
blessed police boat, or I never picked a winner." 

" Nonsense," I said ; " other boats smoke be 
side police boats. The lake is full of tugs." 

I was a little nettled at having been scared 
for a molehill. 

" But I know it, sure as hell," he insisted. 

"You know nothing about it, and won't for 
an hour. What's a pipe and a trail of smoke ? " 

He laid a hand on my shoulder, and I felt it 
tremble. 

"Why do you suppose I came out ? " he 
demanded solemnly. 

" You were probably losing," I said. 

" I was winning." 

"Then you got tired of winning." 

But he held up a thumb within a few inches 
of my face, and with it a ring I had often noticed, 
a huge opal which he customarily wore on the 
inside of his hand. 

" She's dead," said Mr. Cooke, sadly. 

"Dead?" I repeated, perplexed. 

"Yes, she's dead as the day I lost the two 
thousand at Sheepshead. She's never gone 



236 The Celebrity 

back on me yet. And unless I can make some 
little arrangement with those fellows," he added, 
tossing his head at the smoke, " you and I will 
put up to-night in some barn of a jail. I've 
never been in jail but once," said Mr. Cooke, 
" and it isn't so damned pleasant, I assure 
you." 

I saw that he believed every word of it ; in 
fact, that it was his religion. I might as well 
have tried to argue the Sultan out of Moham 
medanism. 

The pipe belonged to a tug, that was certain. 
Farrar said so after a look over his shoulder, 
disdaining glasses, and he knew the lake better 
than many who made their living by it. It was 
then that I made note of a curious anomaly in 
the betting character; for thus far Mr. Cooke, 
like a great many of his friends, was a skeptic. 
He never ceased to hope until the stake had 
found its way into the other man's pocket. 
And it was for hope that he now applied to 
Farrar. But even Farrar did not attempt to 
account for the tug's appearance that near the 
land. 

"She's in some detestable hurry to get up 
this way, that's flat," he said; "where she is, 



The Celebrity 237 

the channel out of the harbor is not forty feet 
wide." 

By this time the rest of the party were gath 
ered behind us on the high side of the boat, in 
different stages of excitement, scrutinizing the 
smoke. Mr. Cooke had the glasses glued to 
his eyes again, his feet braced apart, and every 
line of his body bespeaking the tension of his 
mind. I imagined him standing thus, the stump 
of his cigar tightly clutched between his teeth, 
following the fortunes of some favorite on the 
far side of the Belmont track. 

We waited without comment while the smoke 
crept by degrees towards the little white spindle 
on the tip of the point, now and again catching 
a gleam of the sun's rays from off the glass of 
the lantern. And presently, against the white 
lather of the lake, I thought I caught sight of a 
black nose pushed out beyond the land. An 
other moment, and the tug itself was bobbing 
in the open. Barely had she reached the deep 
water beyond the sands when her length began 
to shorten, and the dense cloud of smoke that 
rose made it plain that she was firing. At the 
sight I reflected that I had been a fool indeed. 
A scant five miles of water lay between us and 



238 The Celebrity 

her, and if they really meant business back 
there, and they gave every sign of it, we had 
about an hour and a half to get rid of the Celeb 
rity. The Maria was a good boat, but she had 
not been built to try conclusions with a Far 
Harbor tug. 

My client, in spite of the ominous condition 
of his opal, was not slow to make his intentions 
exceedingly clear. For Mr. Cooke was first 
and last, and always, a gentleman. After that 
you might call him anything you pleased. 
Meditatively he screwed up his glasses and 
buckled them into the case, and then he de 
scended to the cockpit. It was the Celebrity 
he singled out of the party. 

"Allen," said he, when he stood before him, 
" I want to impress on you that my word's gold. 
I've stuck to you thus far, and I'll be damned 
now if I throw you over, like they did Jonah." 

Mr. Cooke spoke with a fine dignity that in 
itself was impressive, and when he had finished 
he looked about him until his eye rested on Mr. 
Trevor, as though opposition were to come from 
that quarter. And the senator gave every sign 
of another eruption. But the Celebrity, either 
from lack of appreciation of my client's loyalty, 



The Celebrity 239 

or because of the nervousness which was begin 
ning to show itself in his demeanor, despite an 
effort to hide it, returned no answer. He turned 
on his heel and resumed his seat in the cabin. 
Mr. Cooke was visibly affected. 

" I'd sooner lose my whip hand than go back 
on him now," he declared. 

Then Vesuvius began to rumble. 

"Mr. Cooke," said the senator, "may I suggest 
something which seems pertinent to me, though 
it does not appear to have occurred to you ? " 

His tone was the calm one that the heroes 
used in the Celebrity's novels when they were 
about to drop on and annihilate wicked men. 

"Certainly, sir," my client replied briskly, 
bringing himself up on his way back to the 
overhang. 

"You have announced your intention of 
'standing by' Mr. Allen, as you express it. 
Have you reflected that there are some others 
who deserve to be consulted and considered 
beside Mr. Allen and yourself ? " 

Mr. Cooke was puzzled at this change of 
front, and unused, moreover, to the veiled 
irony of parliamentary expression. 

"Talk English, my friend," said he. 



240 The Celebrity 

" In plain words, sir, Mr. Allen is a criminal 
who ought to be locked up ; he is a menace to 
society. You, who have a reputation, I am 
given to understand, for driving four horses, 
have nothing to lose by a scandal, while I have 
worked all my life for the little I have achieved, 
and have a daughter to think about. I will 
neither stand by Mr. Allen nor by you." 

Mr. Cooke was ready with a retort when the 
true significance of this struck him. Things 
were a trifle different now. The tables had 
turned since leaving the island, and the senator 
held it in his power to ruin our one remaining 
chance of escape. Strangely enough, he missed 
the cause of Mr. Cooke's hesitation. 

" Look here, old man," said my client, biting 
off another cigar, "I'm a first-rate fellow when 
you get to know me, and I'd do the same for 
you as I'm doing for Allen." 

" I daresay, sir, I daresay," said the other, a 
trifle mollified ; " I don't claim that you're not 
acting as you think right." 

"I see it," said Mr. Cooke, with admirable 
humility ; " I see it. I was wrong to haul you 
into this, Trevor. And the only thing to con 
sider now is, how to get you out of it." 



The Celebrity 241 

Here he appeared for a moment to be wrapped 
in deep thought, and checked with his cigar an 
attempt to interrupt him. 

" However you put it, old man," he said at 
last, "we're all in a pretty bad hole." 

" All ! " cried Mr. Trevor, indignantly. 

" Yes, all," asserted Mr. Cooke, with compos 
ure. "There are the police, and here is Allen 
as good as run down. If they find him when 
they get abroad, you don't suppose they'll swal 
low anything you have to say about trying to 
deliver him over. No, sir, you'll be bagged and 
fined along with the rest of us. And I'd be 
damned sorry to see it, if I do say it ; and I 
blame myself freely for it, old man. Now you 
take my advice and keep your mouth shut, and 
I'll take care of you. I've got a place for 
Allen." 

During this somewhat remarkable speech Mr. 
Trevor, as it were, blew hot and cold by turns. 
Although its delivery was inconsiderate, its logic 
was undeniable, and the senator sat down again 
on the locker, and was silent. But I marked 
that off and on his fingers would open and shut 
convulsively. 

Time alone would disclose what was to hap- 



242 The Celebrity 

pen to us ; in the- interval there was nothing to 
do but wait. We had reached the stage where 
anxiety begins to take the place of excitement, 
and we shifted restlessly from spot to spot and 
looked at the tug. She was ploughing along 
after us, and to such good purpose that pres 
ently I began to catch the white of the seas 
along her bows, and the bright red with which 
her pipe was tipped. Farrar alone seemed to 
take but slight interest in her. More than once 
I glanced at him as he stood under me, but his 
eye was on the shuddering leach of the sail. 
Then I leaned over. 

" What do you think of it ? " I asked. 

"I told you this morning Drew would have 
handcuffs on him before night," he replied, 
without raising his head. 

"Hang your joking, Farrar; I know more 
than you about it." 

"Then what's the use of asking me?" 

"Don't you see that I'm ruined if we're 
caught ? " I demanded, a little warmly. 

" No, I don't see it," he replied. " You don't 
suppose I think you fool enough to risk this 
comedy if the man were guilty, do you? I 
don't believe all that rubbish about his being 



The Celebrity 243 

the criminal's double, either. That's something 
the girls got up for your benefit." 

I ignored this piece of brutality. 

" But I'm ruined anyway." 

"How?" 

I explained shortly what I thought our friend, 
O'Meara, would do under the circumstances. 
An inference sufficed Farrar. 

"Why didn't you say something about this 
before?" he asked gravely. "I would have 
put into Far Harbor." 

"Because I didn't think of it," I confessed. 

Farrar pulled down the corners of his mouth 
with trying not to smile. 

"Miss Thorn is a woman of brains," he re 
marked gently; "I respect her." 

I wondered by what mysterious train of rea 
soning he had arrived at this conclusion. He 
said nothing for a while, but toyed with the 
spokes of the wheel, keeping the wind in the 
sail with undue nicety. 

" I can't make them out," he said, all at once. 

"Then you believe they're after us?" 

" I changed the course a point or two, just to 
try them." 

"And" 



244 The Celebrity 

"And they changed theirs. Who could have 
informed?" 

" Drew, of course," I said ; " who else ? " 

He laughed. 

" Drew doesn't know anything about Allen," 
said he ; " and, besides, he's no more of a detec 
tive than I am." 

" But Drew was told there was a criminal on 
the island." 

" Who told him ? " 

I repeated the conversation between Drew 
and Mr. Trevor which I had overheard. Farrar 
whistled. 

" But you did not speak of that this morn 
ing," said he. 

"No," I replied, feeling anything but com 
fortable. At times when he was facetious as 
he had been this morning I was wont to lose 
sight of the fact that with Farrar the manner 
was not the man, and to forget the warmth of 
his friendship. I was again to be reminded of 
this. 

"Well, Crocker," he said briefly, "I would 
willingly give up this year's state contract to 
have known it." 



CHAPTER XVIII 

IT was, accurately as I can remember, half 
after noon when Mr. Cooke first caught the 
smoke over the point, for the sun was very 
high : at two our fate had been decided. I 
have already tried to describe a part of what 
took place in that hour and a half, although 
even now I cannot get it all straight in my 
mind. Races, when a great deal is at stake, 
are more or less chaotic : a close four miles in 
a college eight is a succession of blurs with 
lucid but irrelevant intervals. The weary 
months of hard work are forgotten, and you 
are quite as apt to think of your first velocipede, 
or of the pie that is awaiting you in the boat- 
house, as of victory and defeat. And a yacht 
race, with a pair of rivals on your beam, is very 
much the same. 

As I sat with my feet dangling over the wash 
board, I reflected, once or twice, that we were 
engaged in a race. All I had to do was to 
245 



246 The Celebrity 

twist my head in order to make sure of it. I 
also reflected, I believe, that I was in the posi 
tion of a man who has bet all he owns, with 
large odds on losing either way. But on the 
whole I was occupied with more trivial matters : 
a letter I had forgotten to write about a month's 
rent, a client whose summer address I had mis 
laid. The sun was burning my neck behind 
when a whistle aroused me to the realization 
that the tug was no longer a toy boat dancing 
in the distance, but a stern fact but two miles 
away. There could be no mistake now, for I 
saw the white steam of the signal against the 
smoke. 

I slid down and went into the cabin. The 
Celebrity was in the corner by the companion- 
way, with his head on the cushions and a book 
in his hand. And forward, under the low deck 
beams beyond the skylight, I beheld the crouch 
ing figure of my client. He had stripped off 
his coat and was busy at some task on the floor. 

" They're whistling for us to stop," I said to 
him. 

" How near are they, old man ? " he asked, 
without looking up. 

The perspiration was streaming down his 



The Celebrity 247 

face, and he held a brace and bit in his hand. 
Under him was the trap-door which gave access 
to the ballast below, and through this he had 
bored a neat hole. The yellow chips were still 
on his clothes. 

"They're not two miles away," I answered. 
" But what in mystery are you doing there ? " 

But he only laid a finger beside his nose and 
bestowed a wink in my direction. Then he 
took some ashes from his cigar, wetted his 
finger, and thus ingeniously removed all appear 
ance of newness from the hole he had made, 
carefully cleaning up the chips and putting 
them in his pocket. Finally he concealed the 
brace and bit and opened the trap, disclosing 
the rough stones of the ballast. I watched him 
in amazement as he tore a mattress from an 
adjoining bunk and forced it through the open 
ing, spreading it fore and aft over the stones. 

" Now," he said, regaining his feet and sur 
veying the whole with undisguised satisfaction, 
"he'll be as safe there as in my new family 
vault." 

" But "I began, a light dawning upon me. 

"Allen, old man," said Mr. Cooke, "come 
here." 



248 The Celebrity 

The Celebrity laid down his book and looked 
up : my client was putting on his coat. 

" Come here, old man," he repeated. 

And he actually came. But he stopped when 
he caught sight of the open trap and of the 
mattress beneath it. 

" How will that suit you ? " asked Mr. Cooke, 
smiling broadly as he wiped his face with an 
embroidered handkerchief. 

The Celebrity looked at the mattress, then 
at me, and lastly at Mr. Cooke. His face was 
a study. 

" And you think I am going to get in there ? " 
he said, his voice shaking. 

My client fell back a step. 

"Why not?" he demanded. "It's about 
your size, comfortable, and all the air you 
want" (here Mr. Cooke stuck his finger through 
the bit hole). "Damn me, if I were in your 
fix, I wouldn't stop at a kennel." 

"Then you're cursed badly mistaken," said 
the Celebrity, going back to his corner ; " I'm 
tired of being made an ass of for you and your 
party." 

" An ass ! " exclaimed my client, in proper 
indignation. 



The Celebrity 249 

" Yes, an ass," said the Celebrity. And he 
resumed his book. 

It would seem that a student of human nature, 
such as every successful writer should be, might 
by this time have arrived at some conception 
of my client's character, simple as it was, and 
have learned to overlook the slight peculiarity 
in his mode of expressing himself. But here 
the Celebrity fell short. If my client's emo 
tions were not pitched in the same key as those 
of other people, who shall say that his heart 
was not as large or his sympathies as wide as 
many another philanthropist ? 

But Mr. Cooke was an optimist, and as such 
disposed to look at the best side of his friends 
and ignore the worst ; if, indeed, he perceived 
their faults at all. It was plain to me, even 
now, that he did not comprehend the Celebrity's 
attitude. That his guest should reject the one 
hope of escape left him was, according to Mr. 
Cooke, only to be accounted for by a loss of 
mental balance. Nevertheless, his disappoint 
ment was keen. He let down the door and 
slowly led the way out of the cabin. The 
whistle sounded shrilly in our ears. 

Mr. Cooke sat down and drew a wallet from 



250 The Celebrity 

his pocket. He began to count the bills, and, 
as if by common consent, the Four followed 
suit. It was a task which occupied some min 
utes, and when completed my client produced 
a morocco note-book and a pencil. He glanced 
interrogatively at the man nearest him. 

" Three hundred and fifty." 

Mr. Cooke put it down. It was entirely a 
matter of course. What else was there to be 
done ? And when he had gone the round of 
his followers he turned to Farrar and me. 

" How much are you fellows equal to ? " he 
asked. 

I believe he did it because he felt we should 
resent being left out : and so we should have. 
Mr. Cooke's instincts were delicate. 

We told him. Then he paused, his pencil in 
the air, and his eyes doubtfully fixed on the 
senator. For all this time Mr. Trevor had 
been fidgeting in his seat ; but now he opened 
his long coat, button by button, and thrust his 
hand inside the flap. Oh, Falstaff ! 

"Father, father!" exclaimed Miss Trevor. 
But her tongue was in her cheek. 

I have heard it stated that if a thoroughly 
righteous man were cast away with ninety and 



The Celebrity 251 

nine ruffians, each of the ruffians would gain 
one-one-hundredth in virtue, whilst the righteous 
man would sink to their new level. I am not 
able to say how much better Mr. Cooke's party 
was for Mr. Trevor's company, but the senator 
seemed to realize that something serious had 
happened to him, for his voice was not alto 
gether steady as he pronounced the amount of 
his contribution. 

" Trevor," cried Mr. Cooke, with great fervor, 
"I take it all back. You're a true, public- 
spirited old sport." 

But the senator had not yet reached that 
extreme of degradation where it is pleasurable 
to be congratulated on wickedness. 

My client added up the figures and rubbed 
his hands. I regret to say that the aggregate 
would have bought up three small police organi 
zations, body and soul. 

" Pull up, Farrar, old man," he shouted. 

Farrar released the wheel and threw the 
Maria into the wind. With the sail cracking 
and the big boom dodging over our heads, we 
watched the tug as she drew nearer and nearer, 
until we could hear the loud beating of her 
engines. On one side some men were making 



252 The Celebrity 

ready to lower a boat, and then a conspicuous 
figure in blue stood out by the davits. Then 
came the faint tinkle of a bell, and the H. Sin 
clair, of Far Harbor, glided up and thrashed 
the water scarce a biscuit-throw away. 

" Hello, there ! " the man in uniform called 
out. It was Captain McCann, chief of the Far 
Harbor police. 

Mr. Cooke waved his cigar politely. 

"Is that Mr. Cooke's yacht, the Maria?" 

"The same," said Mr. Cooke. 

"I'm fearing I'll have to come aboard you, 
Mr. Cooke." 

" All right, old man, glad to have you," said 
my client. 

This brought a smile to McCann's face as 
he got into his boat. We were all standing 
in the cockpit, save the Celebrity, who was just 
inside of the cabin door. I had time to note 
that he was pale, and no more : I must have 
been pale myself. A few strokes brought the 
chief to the Maria's stern. 

"It's not me that likes to interfere with a 
gent's pleasure party, but business is business," 
said he, as he climbed aboard. 

My client's hospitality was oriental. 



The Celebrity 253 

" Make yourself at home, old man," he said, 
a box of his largest and blackest cigars in his 
hand. And these he advanced towards McCann 
before the knot was tied in the painter. 

Then a wave of self-reproach swept over me. 
Was it possible that I, like Mr. Trevor, had 
been deprived of all the morals I had ever pos 
sessed ? Could it be that the district attorney 
was looking calmly on while Mr. Cooke wilfully 
corrupted the Far Harbor chief -of-police ? As 
agonizing a minute as I ever had in my life was 
that which it took McCann to survey those 
cigars. His broad features became broader 
still, as a huge, red hand was reached out. I 
saw it close lingeringly over the box, and then 
Mr. Cooke had struck a match. The chief 
stepped over the washboard onto the handsome 
turkey-red cushions on the seats, and thus he 
came face to face with me. 

" Holy fathers ! " he exclaimed. " Is it you 
who are here, Mr. Crocker?" And he pulled 
off his cap. 

" No other, McCann," said I, with what I be 
lieve was a most pitiful attempt at braggadocio. 

McCann began to puff at his cigar. Clouds 
of smoke came out of his face and floated down 



254 The Celebrity 

the wind. He was so visibly embarrassed that 
I gained a little courage. 

"And what brings you here ? " I demanded. 

He scrutinized me in perplexity. 

" I think you're guessing, sir." 

"Never a guess, McCann. You'll have to 
explain yourself." 

McCann had once had a wholesome respect 
for me. But it looked now as if the bottom 
was dropping out of it. 

"Sure, Mr. Crocker," he said, "what would 
you be doing in such company as I'm hunting 
for? Can it be that ye're helping to lift a 
criminal over the border ? " 

"McCann," I asked sternly, "what have you 
had on the tug ? " 

Force of habit proved too much for the man. 
He went back to' the apologetic. 

"Never a drop, Mr. Crocker. Upon me 
soul!" 

This reminded Mr. Cooke of something (be it 
recorded) that he had for once forgotten. He 
lifted up the top of the refrigerator. The chief's 
eye followed him. But I was not going to permit 
this. 

" Now, McCann," I commenced again, " if you 



The Celebrity 255 

will state your business here, if you have any, 
I shall be obliged. You are delaying Mr. 
Cooke." 

The chief was seized with a nervous tremor. 
I think we were a pair in that, only I managed 
to keep mine under. When it came to the 
point, and any bribing was to be done, I had 
hit upon a course. Self-respect demanded a 
dignity on my part.* With a painful indecision 
McCann pulled a paper from his pocket which 
I saw was a warrant. And he dropped his 
cigar. Mr. Cooke was quick to give him an 
other. 

"Ye come from Bear Island, Mr. Crocker?" 
he inquired. 

I replied in the affirmative. 

"I hope it's news I'm telling you," he said 
soberly ; " I'm hoping it's news when I say that 
I'm here for Mr. Charles Wrexell Allen, that's 
the gentleman's name. He's after taking a 
hundred thousand dollars away from Boston." 
Then he turned to Mr. Cooke. "The gentle 
man was aboard your boat, sir, when you left 
that country place of yours, what d'ye call it ? 
Mohair? Thank you, sir." And he wiped 
the water from his brow. " And they're telling 



256 The Celebrity 

me he was on Bear Island with ye ? Sure, sir, 
and I can't see why a gentleman of your stand 
ing would be wanting to get him over the 
border. But I must do my duty. Begging 
your pardon, Mr. Crocker," he added, with a 
bow to me. 

" Certainly, McCann," I said. 

For a space there was only the bumping and 
straining of the yacht and the swish of the 
water against her sides. Then the chief spoke 
again. 

" It will be saving you both trouble and in- 
convanience, Mr. Crocker, if you give him up, 
sir." 

What did the man mean ? Why in the name 
of the law didn't he make a move ? I was con 
scious that my client was fumbling in his clothes 
for the wallet ; that he had muttered an invita 
tion for the chief to go inside. McCann smoked 
uneasily. 

"I don't want to search the boat, sir." 

At these words we all turned with one accord 
towards the cabin. I felt Farrar gripping my 
arm tightly from behind. 

The Celebrity had disappeared! 

It was Mr. Cooke who spoke. 



The Celebrity 257 

" Search the boat ! " he said, something be 
tween a laugh and a cry. 

" Yes, sir," the chief repeated firmly. " It's 
sorry I am to do it, with Mr. Crocker here, too." 

I have always maintained that nature had 
endowed my client with rare gifts; and the 
ease with which he now assumed a part thus 
unexpectedly thrust upon him, as well as the 
assurance with which he carried it out, goes 
far to prove it. 

"If there's anything in your line aboard, 
chief," he said blandly, " help yourself ! " 

Some of us laughed. I thought things a little 
too close to be funny. Since the Celebrity had 
lost his nerve and betaken himself to the place 
of concealment Mr. Cooke had prepared for 
him, the whole composition of the affair was 
changed. Before, if McCann had arrested the 
ostensible Mr. Allen, my word, added to fifty 
dollars from my client, would probably have 
been sufficient. Should he be found now, no 
district attorney on the face of the earth could 
induce the chief to believe that he was any 
other than the real criminal ; nor would any 
bribe be large enough to compensate McCann 
for the consequences of losing so important 



258 The Celebrity 

a prisoner. There was nothing now but to 
carry it off with a high hand. McCann got up. 

" Be your lave, Mr. Crocker," he said. 

"Never you mind me, McCann," I replied, 
"but you do what is right." 

With that he began his search. It might 
have been ludicrous if I had had any desire 
to laugh, for the chief wore the gingerly air of 
a man looking for a rattlesnake which has to be 
got somehow. And my client assisted at the 
inspection with all the graces of a dancing- 
master. McCann poked into the forward lock 
ers where we kept the stores, dropping the 
iron lid within an inch of his toe, and 
the clothing-lockers and the sail-lockers. He 
reached under the bunks, and drew out his 
hand again quickly, as though he expected to 
be bitten. And at last he stood by the trap 
with the hole in it, under which the Celebrity 
lay prostrate. I could hear my own breathing. 
But Mr. Cooke had his wits about him still, and 
at this critical juncture he gave McCann a 
thump on the back which nearly carried him 
off his feet. 

"They say the mast is hollow, old man," he 
suggested. 



The Celebrity 259 

" Be jabers, Mr. Cooke," said McCann, " and 
I'm beginning to think it is ! " He took off his 
cap- and scratched his head. 

" Well, McCann, I hope you're contented," I 
said. 

" Mr. Crocker," said he, " and it's that thank 
ful I am for you that the gent ain't here. But 
with him cutting high jinks up at Mr. Cooke's 
house with a valet, and him coming on the yacht 
with yese, and the whole country in that state 
about him, begorra," said McCann, "and it's 
domned strange ! Maybe it's swimmin' in the 
water he is ! " 

The whole party had followed the search, and 
at this speech of the chief's our nervous tension 
became suddenly relaxed. Most of us sat down 
to laugh. 

"I'm asking no questions, Mr. Crocker, ye'll 
take notice," he remarked, his voice full of 
reproachful meaning. 

"McCann," said I, "you come outside. I 
want to speak to you." 

He followed me out. 

"Now," I went on, "you know me pretty 
well " (he nodded doubtfully), "and if I give you 
my word that Charles Wrexell Allen is not on 



260 The Celebrity 

this yacht, and never has been, is that suffi 
cient?" 

" Is it the truth you're saying, sir ? " 

I assured him that it was. 

"Then where is he, Mr. Crocker?" 

" God only knows ! " I replied, with fervor. 
" I don't, McCann." 

The chief was satisfied. He went back into 
the cabin, and Mr. Cooke, in the exuberance 
of his joy, produced champagne. McCann had 
heard of my client and of his luxurious country 
place, and moreover it was the first time he had 
ever been on a yellow-plush yacht. He tarried. 
He drank Mr. Cooke's health and looked around 
him in wonder and awe, and his remarks were 
worthy of record. These sayings and the 
thought of the author of The Sybarites stifling 
below with his mouth to an auger-hole kept us 
in a continual state of merriment. And at last 
our visitor rose to go. 

As he was stepping over the side, Mr. Cooke 
laid hold of a brass button and pressed a hand 
ful of the black cigars upon him. 

" My regards to the detective, old man," said 
he. 

McCann stared. 



The Celebrity 261 

" My regards to Drew," my client insisted. 

" Oh ! " said McCann, his face lighting up, 
''him with the whiskers, what came from Bear 
Island in a cat-boat. Sure, he wasn't no de 
tective, sir." 

"What was he? A police commissioner?" 

" Mr. Cooke," said McCann, disdainfully, as 
he got into his boat, "he wasn't nothing but 
a prospector doing the lake for one of thim 
summer hotel companies." 



CHAPTER XIX 

WHEN the biography of the Celebrity is 
written, and I have no doubt it will be some 
day, may his biographer kindly draw a veil over 
that instant in his life when he was tenderly 
and obsequiously raised by Mr. Cooke from the 
trap in the floor of the Marias cabin. 

It is sometimes the case that a good fright 
will heal a feud. And whereas, before the 
arrival of the H. Sinclair, there had been much 
dissension and many quarrels concerning the 
disposal of the quasi Charles Wrexell Allen, 
when the tug steamed away to the southwards 
but one opinion remained, that, like Jonah, 
he must be got rid of. And no one concurred 
more heartily in this than the Celebrity himself. 
He strolled about and smoked apathetically, 
with the manner of one who was bored beyond 
description, whilst the discussion was going on 
between Farrar, Mr. Cooke, and myself as to 
the best place to land him. When consider 
ately asked by my client whether he had any 
262 



The Celebrity 263 

choice in the matter, he replied, somewhat face 
tiously, that he could not think of making a 
suggestion to one who had shown such superla 
tive skill in its previous management. 

Mr. Trevor, too, experienced a change of 
sentiment in Mr. Cooke's favor. It is not too 
much to say that the senator's scare had been 
of such thoroughness that he was willing to 
agree to almost anything. He had come so 
near to being relieved of that most precious 
possession, his respectability, that the reason 
in Mr. Cooke's course now appealed to him 
very strongly. Thus he became a tacit as- 
senter in wrong-doing, for circumstances thrust 
this, once in a while, upon the best of our 
citizens. 

The afternoon wore cool ; nay, cold is a better 
word. The wind brought with it a suggestion 
of the pine-clad wastes of the northwestern 
wilderness whence it came, and that sure har 
binger of autumn, the blue haze, settled around 
the hills, and benumbed the rays of the sun 
lingering over the crests. Farrar and I, as 
navigators, were glad to get into our overcoats, 
while the others assembled in the little cabin 
and lighted the gasoline stove which stood in 



264 The Celebrity 

the corner. Outside we had our pipes for con 
solation, and the sunset beauty of the lake. 

By six we were well over the line, and con 
sulting our chart, we selected a cove behind a 
headland on our left, which seemed the best we 
could do for an anchorage, although it was 
shallow and full of rocks. As we were chang 
ing our course to run in, Mr. Cooke appeared, 
bundled up in his reefer. He was in the best 
of spirits, and was good enough to concur with 
our plans. 

"Now, sir," asked Farrar, "what do you pro 
pose to do with Allen ? " 

But our client only chuckled. 

" Wait and see, old man," he said ; " I've got 
that all fixed." 

" Well," Farrar remarked, when he had gone 
in again, " he has steered it deuced well so far. 
I think we can trust him." 

It was dark when we dropped anchor, a very 
tired party indeed ; and as the Maria could not 
accommodate us all with sleeping quarters, Mr. 
Cooke decided that the ladies should have the 
cabin, since the night was cold. And so it 
might have been, had not Miss Thorn flatly 
refused to sleep there. The cabin was stuffy, 



The Celebrity 265 

she said, and so she carried her point. Leaving 
Farrar and one of Mr. Cooke's friends to take 
care of the yacht, the rest of us went ashore, 
built a roaring fire and raised a tent, and pro 
ceeded to make ourselves as comfortable as cir 
cumstances would allow. The sense of relief 
over the danger passed produced a kind of 
lightheartedness amongst us, and the topics 
broached at supper would not have been inap 
propriate at a friendly dinner party. As we 
were separating for the night Miss Thorn said 
to me : 

" I am so happy for your sake, Mr. Crocker, 
that he was not discovered." 

For my sake ! Could she really have meant 
it, after all ? I went to sleep thinking of that 
sentence, beside my client beneath the trees. 
And it was first in my thoughts when I awoke. 

As we dipped our faces in the brook the next 
morning my client laughed softly to himself 
between the gasps, and I knew that he had in 
mind the last consummate touch to his success 
ful enterprise. And the revelation came when 
the party were assembled at breakfast. Mr. 
Cooke stood up, and drawing from his pocket 
a small and mysterious paper parcel he forth- 



266 The Celebrity 

with delivered himself in the tone and manner 
which had so endeared him to the familiars of 
the Lake House bar. 

" I'm not much for words, as you all know," 
said he, with becoming modesty, "and I don't 
set up to be an orator. I am just what you see 
here, a damned plain man. And there's only 
one virtue that I lay any claim to, no one can 
say that I ever went back on a friend. I want 
to thank all of you (looking at the senator) for 
what you have done for me and Allen. It's not 
for us to talk about that hundred thousand dol 
lars. My private opinion is (he seemed to have 
no scruples about making it public) that Allen 
is insane. No, old man, don't interrupt me ; 
but you haven't acted just right, and that's a 
fact. And I won't feel square with myself 
until I put him where I found him, in safety. 
I am sorry to say, my friends," he added, with 
emotion, "that Mr. Allen is about to leave us." 

He paused for breath, palpably satisfied with 
so much of it, and with the effect on his 
audience. 

"Now," continued he, "we start this morn 
ing for a place which is only four miles or so 
from the town of Saville, and I shall then re- 



The Celebrity 267 

quest my esteemed legal adviser, Mr. Crocker, 
to proceed to the town and buy a ready-made 
suit of clothes for Mr. Allen, a slouch hat, a 
cheap necktie, and a stout pair of farmer's 
boots. And I have here," he said, holding up 
the package, "I have here the rest of it. My 
friends, you heard the chief tell me that Drew 
was doing the lake for a summer hotel syndi 
cate. But if Drew wasn't a detective you can 
throw me into the lake! He wasn't exactly 
Pinkerton, and I flatter myself that we were 
too many for him," said Mr. Cooke, with de 
served pride; "and he went away in such a 
devilish hurry that he forgot his hand-bag with 
some of his extra things." 

Then my client opened the package, and held 
up on a string before our astonished eyes a 
wig, a pair of moustaches, and two bushy red 
whiskers. 

And this was Mr. Cooke's scheme ! Did it 
electrify his hearers ? Perhaps. Even the sena 
tor was so choked with laughter that he was 
forced to cast loose one of the buttons which 
held on his turn-down collar, and Farrar retired 
into the woods. But the gravity of Mr. Cooke's 
countenance remained serene. 



268 The Celebrity 

"Old man," he said to the Celebrity, "you'll 
have to learn the price of potatoes now. Here 
are Mr. Drew's duplicates ; try 'em on." 

This the Celebrity politely but firmly refused 
to do. 

"Mr. Cooke," said he, "it has never been my 
lot to visit so kind and considerate a host, or to 
know a man who pursued his duty with so little 
thought and care of his own peril. I wish to 
thank you, and to apologize for any hasty ex 
pressions I may have dropped by mistake, and 
I would it were possible to convince you that I 
am neither a maniac nor an embezzler. But, if 
it's just the same to you, I believe I can get 
along without the disguise you mentioned, and 
so save Mr. Crocker his pains. In short, if you 
will set me down at Saville, I am willing to take 
my chances of reaching the Canadian Pacific 
from that point without fear of detection." 

The Celebrity's speech produced a good im 
pression on all save Mr. Cooke, who appeared a 
trifle water-logged. He had dealt successfully 
with Mr. Allen when that gentleman had been 
in defiant moods, or in moods of ugly sarcasm. 
But this good-natured, turn-you-down-easy note 
puzzled my client not a little. Was this cher- 



The Celebrity 269 

ished scheme a whim or a joke to be lightly 
cast aside? Mr. Cooke thought not. The 
determination which distinguished him still sat 
in his eye as he bustled about giving orders for 
the breaking of camp. This refractory criminal 
must be saved from himself, cost what it might, 
and responsibility again rested heavy on my 
client's mind as I rowed him out to the Maria. 

"Crocker," he said, "if Allen is scooped in 
spite of us, you have got to go East and make 
him out an idiot." 

He seemed to think that I had a talent for 
this particular defence. I replied that I would 
do my best. 

" It won't be difficult," he went on ; " not 
near as tough as that case you won for me. 
You can bring in all the bosh about his claim 
ing to be an author, you know. And I'll stand 
expenses." 

This was downright generous of Mr. Cooke. 
We have all, no doubt, drawn our line between 
what is right and what is wrong, but I have 
often wondered how many of us with the world's 
indorsement across our backs trespass as little 
on the other side of the line as he. 

After Farrar and the Four got aboard it fell 



2/O The Celebrity 

to my lot to row the rest of the party to the 
yacht. And this was no slight task that morn 
ing. The tender was small, holding but two 
beside the man at the oars, and owing to the 
rocks and shallow water of which I have spoken, 
the Maria lay considerably over a quarter of a 
mile out. Hence each trip occupied some 
time. Mr. Cooke I had transferred with a 
load of canvas and the tent poles, and next 
I returned for Mrs. Cooke and Mr. Trevor, 
whom I deposited safely. Then I landed again, 
helped in Miss Trevor and Miss Thorn, leaving 
the Celebrity for the last, and was pulling for 
the yacht when a cry from the tender's stern 
arrested me. 

" Mr. Crocker, they are sailing away without 
us!" 

I turned in my seat. The Maria s mainsail 
was up, and the jib was being hoisted, and her 
head was rapidly falling off to the wind. Far- 
rar was casting. In the stern, waving a hand 
kerchief, I recognized Mrs. Cooke, and beside 
her a figure in black, gesticulating frantically, 
a vision of coat-tails flapping in the breeze. 
Then the yacht heeled on her course and forged 
lakewards. 



The Celebrity 271 

"Row, Mr. Crocker, row! they are leaving 
us ! " cried Miss Trevor, in alarm. 

I hastened to reassure her. 

" Farrar is probably trying something," I 
said. "They will be turning presently." 

This is just what they did not do. Once out 
of the inlet, they went about and headed north 
ward, up the coast, and we remained watching 
them until Mr. Trevor became a mere oscillat 
ing black speck against the sail. 

" What can it mean ? " asked Miss Thorn. 

I had not so much as an idea. 

" They certainly won't desert us, at any rate," I 
said. " We had better go ashore again and wait." 

The Celebrity was seated on the beach, and 
he was whittling. Now whittling is an occupa 
tion which speaks of a contented frame of mind, 
and the Maria's departure did not seem to have 
annoyed or disturbed him. 

" Castaways," says he, gayly, " castaways on 
a foreign shore. Two delightful young ladies, 
a bright young lawyer, a fugitive from justice, 
no chaperon, and nothing to eat. And what 
a situation for a short story, if only an author 
were permitted to make use of his own experi 
ences ! " 



272 The Celebrity 

" Only you don't know how it will end," Miss 
Thorn put in. 

The Celebrity glanced up at her. 

" I have a guess," said he, with a smile. 

"Is it true," Miss Trevor asked, "that a 
story must contain the element of love in order 
to find favor with the public ? " 

" That generally recommends it, especially to 
your sex, Miss Trevor," he replied jocosely. 

Miss Trevor appeared interested. 

"And tell me," she went on, "isn't it some 
times the case that you start out intent on one 
ending, and that your artistic sense of what is 
fitting demands another ? " 

"Don't be silly, Irene," said Miss Thorn. 
She was skipping flat pebbles over the water, 
and doing it capitally, too. 

I thought the Celebrity rather resented the 
question. 

"That sometimes happens, of course," said 
he, carelessly. He produced his inevitable gold 
cigarette case and held it out to me. "Be 
sociable for once, and have one," he said, 

I accepted. 

"Do you know," he continued, lighting me a 
match, " it beats me why you and Miss Trevor 



The Celebrity 273 

put this thing up on me. You have enjoyed it, 
naturally, and if you wanted to make me out a 
donkey you succeeded rather well. I used to 
think that Crocker was a pretty good friend 
of mine when I went to his dinners in New 
York. And I once had every reason to believe," 
he added, " that Miss Trevor and I were on ex 
cellent terms." 

Was this audacity or stupidity? Undoubt 
edly both. 

" So we were," answered Miss Trevor, " and 
I should be very sorry to think, Mr. Allen," she 
said meaningly, " that our relations had in any 
way changed." 

It was the Celebrity's turn to flush. 

" At any rate," he remarked in his most off 
hand manner, " I am much obliged to you both. 
On sober reflection I have come to believe that 
you did the very best thing for my reputation." 
T 



CHAPTER XX 

HE had scarcely uttered these words before 
the reason for the Maria's abrupt departure 
became apparent. The anchorage of the yacht 
had been at a spot whence nearly the whole 
south of the lake towards Far Harbor was open, 
whilst a high tongue of land hid that part from 
us on the shore. As he spoke, there shot before 
our eyes a steaming tug-boat, and a second look 
was not needed to assure me that she was the 
" H. Shtclair, of Far Harbor." They had per 
ceived her from the yacht an hour since, and it 
was clear that my client, prompt to act as to 
think, had decided at once to put out and lead 
her a blind chase, so giving the Celebrity a 
chance to make good his escape. 

The surprise and apprehension created 
amongst us by her sudden appearance was 
such that none of us, for a space, spoke or 
moved. She was about a mile off shore, but 
it was even whether the chief would decide 
that his quarry had been left behind in the 
274 



The Celebrity 275 

inlet and turn in, or whether he would push 
ahead after the yacht. He gave us an abomina 
ble five minutes of uncertainty. For when he 
came opposite the cove he slowed up, appar 
ently weighing his chances. It was fortunate 
that we were hidden from his glasses by a 
copse of pines. The Sinclair increased her 
speed and pushed northward after the Maria. 
I turned to the Celebrity. 

" If you wish to escape, now is your chance," 
I said. 

For contrariness he was more than I have 
ever had to deal with. Now he crossed his 
knees and laughed. 

" It strikes me you had better escape, Crocker," 
said he. "You have more to run for." 

I looked across at Miss Thorn. She had told 
him, then, of my predicament. And she did not 
meet my eye. He began to whittle again, and 
remarked : 

" It is only seventeen miles or so across these 
hills to Far Harbor, old chap, and you can get 
a train there for Asquith." 

" Just as you choose," said I, shortly. 

With that I started off to gain the top of the 
promontory in order to watch the chase. I 



2j6 The Celebrity 

knew that this could not last as long as that 
of the day before. In less than three hours we 
might expect the Maria and the tug in the 
cove. And, to be frank, the indisposition of 
the Celebrity to run troubled me. Had he 
come to the conclusion that it was just as 
well to submit to what seemed the inevitable 
and so enjoy the spice of revenge over me? 
My thoughts gave zest to my actions, and I 
was climbing the steep, pine-clad slope with 
rapidity when I heard Miss Trevor below me 
calling out to wait for her. At the point of 
our ascent the ridge of the tongue must have 
been four hundred feet above the level of the 
water, and from this place of vantage we could 
easily make out the Maria in the distance, and 
note from time to time the gain of the Sinclair. 

"It wasn't fair of me, I know, to leave 
Marian," said Miss Trevor, apologetically, " but 
I simply couldn't resist the temptation to come 
up here." 

" I hardly think she will bear you much ill- 
will," I answered dryly; "you did the kindest 
thing possible. Who knows but what they are 
considering the advisability of an elopement ! " 

We passed a most enjoyable morning up 



The Celebrity 277 

there, all things taken into account, for the day 
was too perfect for worries. We even laughed 
at our hunger, which became keen about noon, 
as is always the case when one has nothing to 
eat ; so we set out to explore the ridge for 
blackberries. These were so plentiful that I 
gathered a hatful for our friends below, and 
then I lingered for a last look at the boats. I 
could make out but one. Was it the yacht ? 
No ; for there was a trace of smoke over it. 
And yet I was sure of a mast. I put my hand 
over my eyes. 

"What is it?" asked Miss Trevor, anxiously. 

"The tug has the Maria in tow," I said, "and 
they are coming this way." 

We scrambled down, sobered by this dis 
covery and thinking of little else. And break 
ing through the bushes we came upon Miss 
Thorn and the Celebrity. To me, preoccupied 
with the knowledge that the tug would soon 
be upon us, there seemed nothing strange in 
the attitude of these two, but Miss Trevor 
remarked something out of the common at 
once. How keenly a woman scents a situa 
tion ! 

The Celebrity was standing with his back 



278 The Celebrity 

to Miss Thorn, at the edge of the water. His 
chin was in the air, and to a casual observer 
he looked to be minutely interested in a flock 
of gulls passing over us. And Miss Thorn ? 
She was enthroned upon a heap of drift-wood, 
and when I caught sight of her face I forgot 
the very existence of the police captain. Her 
lips were parted in a smile. 

"You are just in time, Irene," she said 
calmly ; " Mr. Allen has asked me to be his 
wife." 

I stood, with the hatful of berries in my hand, 
like a stiff wax figure in a museum. The ex 
pected had come at last ; and how little do we 
expect the expected when it comes ! I was 
aware that both the young women were looking 
at me, and that both were quietly laughing. 
And I must have cut a ridiculous figure indeed, 
though I have since been informed on good 
authority that this was not so. Much I cared 
then what happened. Then came Miss Trevor's 
reply, and it seemed to shake the very founda 
tions of my wits. 

"But, Marian," said she, "you can't have 
him. He is engaged to me. And if it's quite 
the same to you, I want him myself. It isn't 



The Celebrity 279 

often, you know, that one has the opportunity 
to marry a Celebrity." 

The Celebrity turned around : an expression 
of extraordinary intelligence shot across his 
face, and I knew then that the hole in the well- 
nigh invulnerable armor of his conceit had been 
found at last. And Miss Thorn, of all people, 
had discovered it. 

" Engaged to you ? " she cried, " I can't be 
lieve it. He would be untrue to everything he 
has written." 

"My word should be sufficient," said Miss 
Trevor, stiffly. (May I be hung if they hadn't 
acted it all out before.) "If you should wish 
proofs, however, I have several notes from him 
which are at your service, and an inscribed 
photograph. No, Marian," she added, shaking 
her head, " I really cannot give him up." 

Miss Thorn rose and confronted him, and 
her dignity was inspiring. 

"Is this so?" she demanded; "is it true 
that you are engaged to marry Miss Trevor ? " 

The Bone of Contention was badly troubled. 
He had undoubtedly known what it was to have 
two womMi quarrelling over his hand at the 
same time., but I am willing to bet that the 



280 The Celebrity 

sensation of having them come together in his 
presence was new to him. 

"I did not think " he began. "I was not 
aware that Miss Trevor looked upon the matter 
in that light, and you know " 

" What disgusting equivocation," Miss Trevor 
interrupted. "He asked me point blank to 
marry him, and of course I consented. He has 
never mentioned to me that he wished to break 
the engagement, and I wouldn't have broken 
it." 

I felt like a newsboy in a gallery, I wanted 
to cheer. And the Celebrity kicked the stones 
and things. 

"Who would have thought," she persisted, 
" that the author of The Sybarites, the man who 
chose Desmond for a hero, could play thus idly 
with the heart of woman ? The man who wrote 
these beautiful lines : ' Inconstancy in a woman, 
because of the present social conditions, is 
sometimes pardonable. In a man, nothing is 
more despicable.' And how poetic a justice 
it is that he has to marry me, and is thus forced 
to lead the life of self-denial he has conceived 
for his hero. Mr. Crocker, will you be my 
attorney if he should offer any objections ? " 



The Celebrity 281 

The humor of this proved too much for the 
three of us, and Miss Trevor herself went into 
peals of laughter. Would that the Celebrity 
could have seen his own face. I doubt if even 
he could have described it. But I wished for 
his sake that the earth might have kindly 
opened and taken him in. 

" Marian," said Miss Trevor, " I am going to 
be very generous. I relinquish the prize to you, 
and to you only. And I flatter myself there are 
not many girls in this world who would do it." 

"Thank you, Irene," Miss Thorn replied 
gravely, "much as I want him, I could not 
think of depriving you." 

Well, there is a limit to all endurance, and 
the Celebrity had reached his. 

"Crocker," he said, "how far is it to the 
Canadian Pacific?" 

I told him. , 

" I think I had best be starting," said he. 

And a moment later he had disappeared into 

the woods. 

* # # * * 

We stood gazing in the direction he had 
taken, until the sound of his progress had died 
away. The shock of it all had considerably 



282 The Celebrity 

muddled my brain, and when at last I had ad 
justed my thoughts to the new conditions, a 
sensation of relief, of happiness, of joy (call it 
what you will), came upon me, and I could 
scarce restrain an impulse to toss my hat in 
the air. He was gone at last ! But that was 
not the reason. I was safe from O'Meara and 
calumny. Nor was this all. And I did not dare 
to look at Miss Thorn. The knowledge that 
she had planned and carried out with dignity 
and success such a campaign filled me with awe. 
That I had misjudged her made me despise 
myself. Then I became aware that she was 
speaking to me, and I turned. 

" Mr. Crocker, do you think there is any 
danger that he will lose his way?" 

"No, Miss Thorn," I replied; "he has only 
to get to the top of that ridge and strike the 
road for Saville, as I told him." 

We were silent again until Miss Trevor re 
marked : 

" Well, he deserved every bit of it." 

"And more, Irene," said Miss Thorn, laugh 
ing; "he deserved to marry you." 

"I think he won't come West again for a 
very long time," said I. 



The Celebrity 283 

Miss Trevor regarded me wickedly, and I 
knew what was coming. 

" I hope you are convinced, now, Mr. Crocker, 
that our sex is not as black as you painted 
it : that Miss Thorn knew what she was about, 
and that she is not the inconsistent and variable 
creature you took her to be." 

I felt the blood rush to my face, and Miss 
Thorn, too, became scarlet. She went up to 
the mischievous Irene and grasping her arms 
from behind, bent them until she cried for 
mercy. 

" How strong you are, Marian ! It is an out 
rage to hurt me so. I haven't said anything." 
But she was incorrigible, and when she had 
twisted free she began again : 

" I took it upon myself to speak a few para 
bles to Mr. Crocker the other day. You know, 
Marian, that he is one of these level-headed old 
fogies who think women ought to be kept in a 
menagerie, behind bars, to be inspected on 
Saturday afternoons. Now, I appeal to you if 
it wouldn't be disastrous to fall in love with a 
man of such ideas. And just to let you know 
what a literal old law-brief he is, when I said he 
had had a hat-pin sticking in him for several 



284 The Celebrity 

weeks, he nearly jumped overboard, and began 
to feel himself all over. Did you know that he 
actually believed you were doing your best to 
get married to the Celebrity ? " (Here she 
dodged Miss Thorn again.) "Oh, yes, he con 
fided in me. He used to worry himself ill over 
that. I'll tell you what he said to me only " 

But fortunately at this juncture Miss Trevor 
was captured again, and Miss Thorn put her 
hand over her mouth. Heaven only knows 
what she would have said ! 

The two boats did not arrive until nearly four 
o'clock, owing to some trouble to the tug's pro 
peller. Not knowing what excuse my client 
might have given for leaving some of his party 
ashore, I thought it best to go out to meet 
them. Seated on the cabin roof of the Maria 
I beheld Mr. Cooke and McCann in conversa 
tion, each with a black cigar too big for 
him. 

"Hello, Crocker, old man," shouted my 
client, " did you think I was never coming back ? 
I've had lots of sport out of this hayseed cap 
tain" (and he poked that official playfully), 
" but I didn't get any grub. So we'll have to 
go to Far Harbor." 



The Celebrity 285 

I caught the hint. Mr. Cooke had given out 
that he had started for Saville to restock the 
larder. 

" No," he continued, " Brass Buttons didn't 
let me get to Saville. You see, when he got 
back to town last night they told him he had 
been buncoed out of the biggest thing for years, 
and they got it into his head that I was child 
enough to run a ferry for criminals. They told 
him he wasn't the sleuth he thought he was, so 
he came back. They'll have the laugh on him 
now, for sure." 

McCann listened with admirable good-nature, 
gravely pulling at his cigar, and eyeing Mr. 
Cooke with a friendly air of admiration. 

"Mr. Crocker," he said, with melancholy 
humor, "it's leery I am with the whole shoot 
ing-match. Mr. Cooke here is a gentleman, 
every inch of him, and so be you, Mr. Crocker. 
But I'm just after taking a look at the hole 
in the bottom of the boat. ' Ye have yer bunks 
in queer places, Mr. Cooke,' says I. It's not for 
me to be doubting a gentleman's word, sir, but 
I'm thinking me man is over the hills and far 
away, and that's true for ye." 

Mr. Cooke winked expressively. 



286 The Celebrity 

"McCann, you've been jerked," said he. 
" Have another bottle ! " 

The Sinclair towed us to Far Harbor for a 
consideration, the wind being strong again from 
the south, and McCann was induced by the 
affable owner to remain on the yellow-plush 
yacht. I cornered him before we had gone 
a great distance. 

" McCann," said I, " what made you come 
back to-day ? " 

" Faith, Mr. Crocker, I don't care if I am tell 
ing you. I always had a liking for you, sir, and 
bechune you and me it was that divil O'Meara 
what made all the trouble. I wasn't taking his 
money, not me ; the saints forbid ! But glory 
be to God, if he didn't raise a rumpus whin I 
come back without Allen ! It was sure he was 
that the gent left that place, what are ye 
calling it ? Mohair, in the Maria, and we tele 
graphs over to Asquith. He swore I'd lose me 
job if I didn't fetch him to-day. Mr. Crocker, 
sir, it's the lumber business I'll be startin' next 
week," said McCann. 

"Don't let that worry you, McCann," I 
answered. " I will see that you don't lose your 
place, and I give you my word again that 



The Celebrity 287 

Charles Wrexell Allen has never been aboard 
this yacht, or at Mohair to my knowledge. 
What is more, I will prove it to-morrow to 
your satisfaction." 

McCann's faith was touching. 

" Ye' re not to say another word, sir," he said, 
and he stuck out his big hand, which I grasped 
warmly. 

My affection for McCann still remains a 
strong one. 

After my talk with McCann I was sitting on 
the forecastle propped against the bitts of the 
Maria's anchor-chain, and looking at the swirl 
ing foam cast up by the tug's propeller. There 
were many things I wished to turn over in my 
mind just then, but I had not long been in a 
state of reverie when I became conscious that 
Miss Thorn was standing beside me. I got to 
my feet. 

"I have been wondering how long you would re 
main in that trance, Mr. Crocker," she said. " Is 
it too much to ask what you were thinking of ? " 

Now it so chanced that I was thinking of her 
at that moment. It would never have done to 
say this, so I stammered. And Miss Thorn was 
a young woman of tact. 



288 The Celebrity 

" I should not have put that to so literal a 
man as you," she declared. " I fear that you 
are incapable of crossing swords. And then," 
she added, with a slight hesitation that puzzled 
me, " I did not come up here to ask you that, 
I came to get your opinion." 

" My opinion ? " I repeated. 

" Not your legal opinion," she replied, smiling, 
" but your opinion as a citizen, as an individual, 
if you have one. To be frank, I want your 
opinion of me. Do you happen to have such 
a thing ? " 

I had. But I was in no condition to give it. 

" Do you think me a very wicked girl ? " she 
asked, coloring. " You once thought me incon 
sistent, I believe, but I am not that. Have I 
done wrong in leading the Celebrity to the 
point where you saw him this morning ? " 

"Heaven forbid!" I cried fervently; "but 
you might have spared me a great deal had you 
let me into the secret." 

" Spared you a great deal," said Miss Thorn. 
"I I don't quite understand." 

"Well " I began, and there I stayed. All 
the words in the dictionary seemed to slip out 
of my grasp, and I foundered. I realized I had 



The Celebrity 289 

said something which even in my wildest mo 
ments I had not dared to think of. My secret 
was out before I knew I possessed it. Bad 
enough had I told it to Farrar in an unguarded 
second. But to her! I was blindly seeking 
some way of escape when she said softly : 

" Did you really care ? " 

I am man enough, I hope, when there is need 
to be. And it matters not what I felt then, but 
the words came back to me. 

" Marian," I said, " I cared more than you will 
ever learn." 

But it seems that she had known all the 
time, almost since that night I had met her 
at the train. And how? I shall not pretend 
to answer, that being quite beyond me. I am 
very sure of one thing, however, which is that 
I never told a soul, man or woman, or even 
hinted at it. How was it possible when I 
didn't know myself ? 

The light in the west was gone as we were 
pulled into Far Harbor, and the lamps of the 
little town twinkled brighter than I had ever 
seen them before. I think they must have been 
reflected in our faces, since Miss Trevor, when 
u 



290 The Celebrity 

she came forward to look for us, saw something 
there and openly congratulated us, And this 
most embarrassing young woman demanded 
presently : 

" How did it happen, Marian ? Did you pro 
pose to him ? " 

I was about to protest indignantly, but Marian 
laid her hand on my arm. 

"Tell it not in Asquith," said she. "Irene, 
I won't have him teased any more." 

We were drawing up to the dock, and for the 
first time I saw that a crowd was gathered 
there. The report of this chase had gone 
abroad. Some began calling out to McCann 
when we came within distance, among others 
the editor of the Northern Lights, and beside 
him I perceived with amusement the generous 
lines of the person of Mr. O'Meara himself. I 
hurried back to give Farrar a hand with the 
ropes, and it was O'Meara who caught the one 
I flung ashore and wound it around a pile. 
The people pressed around, peering at our party 
on the Maria, and I heard McCann exhorting 
them to make way. And just then, as he was 
about to cross the plank, they parted for some 
one from behind. A breathless messenger 



The Celebrity 291 

halted at the edge of the wharf. He held 
out a telegram. 

McCann seized it and dived into the cabin, 
followed closely by my client and those of us 
who could push after. He tore open the en 
velope, his eye ran over the lines, and then he 
began to slap his thigh and turn around in a 
circle, like a man dazed. 

"Whiskey!" shouted Mr. Cooke. "Get him 
a glass of Scotch ! " 

But McCann held up his hand. 

" Holy Saint Patrick ! " he said, in a husky 
voice, "it's upset I am, bottom upwards. Will 
ye listen to this ? " 

" ' Drew is your man. Reddish hair and long 
side whiskers, gray clothes. Pretends to repre 
sent summer hotel syndicate. Allen it Asquith 
unknown and harmless. 

" ' (Signed.) Everhardt: " 

" Sew me up," said Mr. Cooke ; " if that don't 
beat hell!" 



CHAPTER XXI 

IN this world of lies the good and. the bad are 
so closely intermingled that frequently one is 
the means of obtaining the other. Therefore, 
I wish very freely to express my obligations to 
the Celebrity for any share he may have had 
in contributing to the greatest happiness of my 
life. 

Marian and I were married the very next 
month, October, at my client's palatial resi 
dence of Mohair. This was at Mr. Cooke's 
earnest wish : and since Marian was Mrs. 
Cooke's own niece, and an orphan, there 
seemed no ^ood reason why my client should 
not be humored in the matter. As for Marian 
and me, we did not much care whether we were 
married at Mohair or the City of Mexico. Mrs. 
Cooke, I think, had a secret preference for 
Germantown. 

Mr. Cooke quite over-reached himself in that 
wedding. "The knot was tied," as the papers 
expressed it, "under a huge bell of yellow 
292 



The Celebrity 293 

roses." The paper also named the figure which 
the flowers and the collation and other things 
cost Mr. Cooke. A natural reticence forbids 
me to repeat it. But, lest my client should 
think that I undervalue his kindness, I will say 
that we had the grandest wedding ever seen 
in that part of the world. McCann was there, 
and Mr. Cooke saw to it that he had a punch 
bowl all to himself in which to drink our 
healths : Judge Short was there, still followed 
by the conjugal eye: and Senator Trevor, who 
remained over, in a new long black coat to kiss 
the bride. Mr. Cooke chartered two cars to 
carry guests from the East, besides those who 
came as ordinary citizens. Miss Trevor was 
of the party, and Farrar, of course, was best 
man. Would that I had the flow of words pos 
sessed by the reporter of the Chicago Sunday 
newspaper ! 

But there is one thing I must mention before 
Mrs. Crocker and I leave for New York, in a 
shower of rice, on Mr. Cooke' s own private car, 
and that is my client's gift. In addition to the 
check he gave Marian, he presented us with 
a huge, repousse" silver urn he had had made 
to order, and he expressed a desire that the 



294 The Celebrity 

design upon it should remind us of him forever 
and ever. I think it will. Mercury is duly set 
forth in a gorgeous equipage, driving four horses 
around the world at a furious pace ; and the 
artist, by special instructions, had docked their 
tails. 

From New York, Mrs. Crocker and I went 
abroad. And it so chanced, in December, that 
we were staying a few days at a country-place 
in Sussex, and the subject of The Sybarites was 
broached at a dinner-party. The book was then 
having its sale in England. 

" Crocker," said our host, " do you happen to 
have met the author of that book? He's an 
American." 

I looked across the table at my wife, and we 
both laughed. 

" I happen to know him intimately," I replied. 

"Do you, now?" said the Englishman; 
"what a very entertaining chap he is, is he not ? 
I had him down in October, and, by Jove, we 
were laughing the blessed time. He was tell 
ing us how he wrote his novels, and he said, 
'pon my soul he did, that he had a secretary or 
something of that sort to whom he told the plot, 
and the secretary elaborated, you know, and 



The Celebrity 295 

wrote the draft. And he said, 'pon my honor, 
that sometimes the dark wrote the plot and 
all, the whole blessed thing, and that he 
never saw the book except to sign his name 
to it." 

"You say he was here in October?" asked 
Marian, when the laugh had subsided. 

"I have the date," answered our host, "for 
he left me an autograph copy of The Sybarites 
when he went away." And after dinner he 
showed us the book, with evident pride. In 
scribed on the fly-leaf was the name of the 
author, October loth. But a glance sufficed to 
convince both of us that the Celebrity had never 
written it. 

"John," said Marian to me, a suspicion of 
the truth crossing her mind, "John, can it 
be the bicycle man ? " 

" Yes, it can be," I said ; " it is." 

"Well," said Marian, "he's been doing a little 
more for our friend than we did." 

Nor was this the last we heard of that me 
teoric trip through England, which the alleged 
author of The Sybarites had indulged in. He 
did not go up to London ; not he. It was 
given out that he was travelling for his health, 



296 The Celebrity 

that he did not wish to be lionized ; and there 
were friends of the author in the metropolis 
who had never heard of his secretary, and who 
were at a loss to understand his conduct. They 
felt slighted. One of these told me that the 
Celebrity had been to a Lincolnshire estate 
where he had created a decided sensation by 
his riding to hounds, something the Celebrity 
had never been known to do. And before we 
crossed the Channel, Marian saw another auto 
graph copy of the famous novel. 

One day, some months afterwards, we were 
sitting in our little sa!6n in a Paris hotel when 
a card was sent up, which Marian took. 
"John," she cried, "it's the Celebrity." 
It was the Celebrity, in the flesh, faultlessly 
groomed and clothed, with frock coat, gloves, 
and stick. He looked the picture of ruddy, 
manly health and strength, and we saw at once 
that he bore no ill-will for the past. He con 
gratulated us warmly, and it was my turn to 
offer him a cigarette. He was nothing loath 
to reminisce on the subject of his experiences 
in the wilds of the northern lakes, or even to 
laugh over them. He asked affectionately after 
his friend Cooke. Time had softened his feel- 



The Celebrity 297 

ings, and we learned that he had another girl, 
who was in Paris just then, and invited us on 
the spot to dine with her at "Joseph's." Let 
me say, in passing, that as usual she did credit 
to the Celebrity's exceptional taste. 

"Now," said he, "I have something to tell 
you two." 

He asked for another cigarette, and I laid 
the box beside him. 

"I suppose you reached Saville all right," I 
said, anticipating. 

"Seven at night," said he, "and so hungry 
that I ate what they call marble cake for supper, 
and a great many other things out of little side 
dishes, and nearly died of indigestion afterward. 
Then I took a train up to the main line. An 
express came along. 'Why not go West?' I 
asked myself, and I jumped aboard. It was 
another whim you know I am subject to them. 
When I got to Victoria I wired for money and 
sailed to Japan; and then I went on to India 
and through the Suez, taking things easy. I 
fell in with some people I knew who were going 
where the spirit moved them, and I went along : 
Algiers, for one place, and whom do you think 
I saw there, in the lobby of a hotel ? " 



298 The Celebrity 

"Charles Wrexell Allen," cried Marian and I 
together. 

The Celebrity looked surprised. "How did 
you know ? " he demanded. 

" Go on with your story," said Marian ; 
"what did he do?" 

"What did he do?" said the Celebrity; 
"why, the blackguard stepped up and shook 
me by the hand, and asked after my health, and 
wanted to know whether I were married yet. 
He was so beastly familiar that I took out my 
glass, and I got him into a cafe" for fear some 
one would see me with him. ' My dear fellow,' 
said he, ' you did me the turn of my life. How 
can I ever repay you ? ' ' Hang your impu 
dence,' said I, but I wanted to hear what he 
had to say. ' Don't lose your temper, old chap,' 
he laughed ; ' you took a few liberties with my 
name, and there was no good reason why I 
shouldn't take some with yours. Was there ? 
When I think of it, the thing was most decid 
edly convenient ; it was the hand of Provi 
dence.' 'You took liberties with my name,' I 
cried. With that he coolly called to the waiter 
to fill our glasses. 'Now,' said he, 'I've got a 
story for you. Do you remember the cotillon, 



The Celebrity 299 

or whatever it was, that Cooke gave? Well, 
that was all in the Chicago papers, and the 
" Miles Standish " agent there saw it, and he 
knew pretty well that I wasn't West. So he 
sent me the papers, just for fun. You may 
imagine my surprise when I read that I had 
been leading a dance out at Mohair, or some 
such barbarous place in the northwest. I looked 
it up on the map (Asquith, I mean), and then I 
began to think. I wondered who in the devil it 
might be who had taken my name and occupa 
tion, and all that. You see, I had just relieved 
the company of a little money, and it hit me 
like a clap of thunder one day that the idiot 
was you. But I couldn't be sure. And as long 
as I had to get out very soon anyway, I con 
cluded to go to Mohair and make certain, and 
then pile things off on you if you happened to 
be the man.'" 

At this point Marian and I were seized with 
daughter, in which the Celebrity himself joined. 
Presently he continued : 

"'So I went,' said Allen. ' I provided my 
self with two disguises, as a careful man should, 
but by the time I reached that outlandish hole, 
Asquith, the little thing I was mixed up in 



3OO The Celebrity 

burst prematurely, and the papers were full of 
it that morning. The whole place was out with 
sticks, so to speak, hunting for you. They told 
me the published description hit you to a dot, 
all except the scar, and they quarrelled about 
that. I posed as the promoter of resort syndi 
cates, and I hired the Scimitar and sailed over 
to Bear Island ; and I didn't have a bad time 
that afternoon, only Cooke insisted on making 
remarks about my whiskers, and I was in mor 
tal fear lest he might accidentally pull one off. 
He came cursed near it. By the way, he's the 
very deuce of a man, isn't he ? I knew he took 
me for a detective, so I played the part. And 
in the night that ass of a state senator nearly 
gave me pneumonia by getting me out in the 
air to tell me they had hid you in a cave. So I 
sat up all night, and followed the relief party in 
the morning, and you nearly disfigured me for 
life when you threw that bottle into the woods. 
Then I went back to camp, and left so fast that I 
forgot my extra pair of red whiskers. I had two 
of each disguise, you know, so I didn't miss 
them. 

" ' I guess,' Mr. Allen went on, gleefully, 'that 
I got off about as cleanly as any criminal ever 



The Celebrity 301 

did, thanks to you. If we'd fixed the thing up 
between us it couldn't have been any neater, 
could it ? Because I went straight to Far Har 
bor and got you into a peck of trouble, right 
away, and then slipped quietly into Canada, and 
put on the outfit of a travelling salesman. And 
right here another bright idea struck me. Why 
not carry the thing farther? I knew that you 
had advertised a trip to Europe (why, the Lord 
only knows), so I went East and sailed for 
England on the Canadian Line. And let me 
thank you for a little sport I had in a quiet way 
as the author of The Sybarites. I think I as 
tonished some of your friends, old boy.' " 

The Celebrity lighted another cigarette. 

"So if it hadn't been for me," he said, "the 
'Miles Standish Bicycle Company' wouldn't 
have gone to the wall, Can they sentence me 
for assisting Allen to get away, Crocker? If 
they can, I believe I shall stay over here." 

" I think you are safe," said I. " But didn't 
Allen tell you any more ? " 

" No. A man he used to know came into the 
cafe*, and Allen got out of the back door. And 
I never saw him again." 



302 The Celebrity 

" I believe I can tell you a little more," said 

Marian. 

***#### 

The Celebrity is still writing books of a high 
moral tone and unapproachable principle, and 
his popularity is undiminished. I have not 
heard, however, that he has given way to any 
more whims. 



THE END 



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size. Printed on excellent paper most of them with illustra 
tions of marked beauty and handsomely bound in cloth. 
Price, 75 cents a volume, postpaid. 

NEW CHRONICLES OF REBECCA, 

By Kate Douglas Wiggin With illustrations by F. C. Yohn 

Additional episodes in the girlhood of the delightful little hero 
ine at Riverboro which were not included in the story of " Rebecca 
of Sunnybrook Farm," and they are as characteristic and delight 
ful as any part of that famous story. Rebecca is as distinct a crea 
tion in the second volume as in the first. 

THE SILVER BUTTERFLY, By Mrs. Wilson Woodrow 

With illustrations in colors by Howard Chandler Christy. 

A story of love and mystery, full of color, charm, and vivacity, 
dealing with a South American mine, rich beyond dreams, and of 
a New York maiden, beyond dreams beautiful both known as 
the Silver Butterfly. Well named is The Silver Butterfly ! There 
could not be a better symbol of the darting swiftness, the eager 
love plot, the elusive mystery and the flashing wit, 

BEATRIX OF CLARE, By John Reed Scott 

With illustrations by Clarence F. Underwood. 

A spirited and irresistibly attractive historical romance of the 
fifteenth century, boldly conceived and skilfully carried out. In 
the hero and* heroine Mr. Scott has created a pair whose mingled 
emotions and and alternating hopes and fears will find a welcome 
in many lovers of the present hour. Beatrix is a f ascinting daugh 
ter of Eve. 

A LITTLE BROTHER OF THE RICH, 

By Joseph Medill Patterson 

Frontispiece by Hazel Martyn Trudeau, and illustrations by 
Walter Dean Goldbeck. 

Tells the story of the idle rich, and is a vivid and truthful pic 
ture of society and stage life written by one who is himself a con 
spicuous member of the Western millionaire class. Full of grim 
satire, caustic wit and flashing epigrams. " Is sensational to a de 
gree in its theme, daring in its treatment, lashing society as it was 
never scourged before. New York Sun. 

GROSSET & DUNLAP, Publishers, - - NEW YORK 



FAMOUS COPYRIGHT BOOKS 
IN POPULAR PRICED EDITIONS 

Re-issues of the great literary successes of the time. Library 
size. Printed on excellent paper most of them with illustra 
tions of marked beauty and handsomely bound in cloth. 
Price, 75 cents a volume, postpaid. 

THE CIRCULAR STAIRCASE, By Mary Roberts Relnhart 

With illustrations by Lester Ralph. 

In an extended notice the New York Sun says : " To readers 
who care for a really good detective story 'The Circular Stair 
case ' can be recommended without reservation. The Philadelphia 
Record declares that " The Circular Staircase " deserves the laur 
els for thrills, for weirdness and things unexplained and inexplicable. 

THE RED YEAR, By Louis Tracy 

" Mr. Tracy'gives by far the most realistic and impressive pic 
tures of the horrors and heroisms of the Indian Mutiny that 
has been available in any book of the kind * * * 'There has not 
been in modern times in the history of any land scenes so fear 
ful, so picturesque, so dramatic, and Mr. Tracy draws them as 
with the pencil of a Verestschagin of the pen of a Sienkiewics." 

ARMS AND THE WOMAN, By Harold MacGrath 

With inlay cover in colors by Harrison Fisher. 
The story is a blending of the romance and adventure of the 
middle ages with nineteenth century men and women ; and they are 
creations of flesh and blood, and not mere pictures of past centuries. 
The story is about Jack Winthrop, a newspaper man. Mr. Mac- 
Grain's finest bit of character drawing is seen in Hillars, the bro 
ken down newspaper man, and Jack's chum. 

LOVE IS THE SUM OF IT ALL, By Geo. Gary Eggleston 

With illustrations by Hermann Heyer. 

In this " plantation romance " Mr. Eggleston has resumed the 
manner and method that made his " Dorothy South" one of the 
most famous books of its time. 

There are three tender love stories embodied in it, and two 
unusually interesting heroines, utterly unlike each other, but each 
possessed of a peculiar fascination which wins and holds the read 
er's sympathy. A pleasing vein of gentle humor runs through the 
work, but the " sum of it all " is an intensely sympathetic love story. 

HEARTS AND THE CROSS, By Harold Morton Cramer 

With illustrations by Harold Matthews Brett. 
The hero is an unconventional preacher who follows the line of 
the Man of Galilee, associating with the lowly, and working for 
them in the ways that may best serve them. He is not recognized 
at his real value except by the one woman who saw clearly. Their 
love story is one of the refreshing things in recent fiction. 

GROSSET & DUNLAP, Publishers, - - NEW YORK 



NATURE BOOKS 

With Colored Plates, and Photographs from .Life. 



BIRD NEIGHBORS. An Introductory Acquaint 
ance with 150 Birds Commonly Found in the Woods, 
Fields and Gardens About Our Homes. By Neltje 
Blanchan. With an Introduction by John Burroughs, 
and many plates of birds in natural colors. Large 
Quarto, size 7^x10^, Cloth. Formerly published 
at $2.00. Our special price, $1.00. 

As an aid to the elementary study of bird life nothing has ever been 
published more satisfactory than this most successful of Nature 
Books. This book makes the identification of our birds simple and 
positive, even to the uninitiated, through certain unique features. 

I. All the birds are grouped according to color, in the belief that a 
bird's coloring is the first and often the only characteristic noticed. 

II. By another classification, the birds are grouped according to their 
season. III. All the popular names by which a bird is known are 
given both in the descriptions and the index. The colored plates 
are the most beautiful and accurate ever given in a moderate-priced 
and popular book. The most successful and widely sold Nature 
Book yet published. 

BIRDS THAT HUNT AND ARE HUNTED. Life 
Histories of 1 70 Birds of Prey, Game Birds and Water- 
Fowls. By Neltje Blanchan. With Introduction by 
G. O. Shields (Coquina). 24 photographic illustra 
tions in color. Large Quarto, size 7^x10^. Form 
erly published at $2.00. Our special price, $1.00. 

No work of its class has ever been issued that contains so much 
valuable information, presented with such felicity and charm. The 
colored plates are true to nature. By their aid alone any bird illus 
trated may be readily identified. Sportsmen will especially relish 
the twenty-four color plates which show the more important birds in 
characteristic poses. They are probably the most valuable and 
artistic pictures of the kind available to-day. 

GROSSET & DUNLAP, - NEW YORK 



NATURE BOOKS 

With Colored Plates, and Photographs from Life. 

NATURE'S GARDEN. An Aid to Knowledge of 
Our Wild Flowers and Their Insect Visitors. 24 col 
ored plates, and many other illustrations photographed 
directly from nature. Text by Neltje Blanchan. 
Large Quarto, size 7 ^(xio^. Cloth. Formerly pub 
lished at $3.00 net Our special price, $1.25. 

Suberb color portraits of many familiar flowers in 
their living tints, and no less beautiful pictures in 
black and white of others each blossom photo 
graphed directly from nature form an unrivaled 
series. By their aid alone the novice can name the 
flowers met afield. 

Intimate life-histories of over five hundred species 
of wild flowers, written in untechnical, vivid lan 
guage, emphasize -the marvelously interesting and 
vital relationship existing between these flowers and 
the special insect to which each is adapted. 

The flowers are divided into five color groups, be 
cause by this arrangement any one -with no knowl 
edge of botany whatever can readily identify the 
specimens met during a walk. The various popular 
names by which each species is known, its preferred 
dwelling-place, months of blooming and geographical 
distribution follow its description. Lists of berry- 
bearing and other plants most conspicuous after the 
flowering season, of such as grow together in differ 
ent kinds of soil, and finally of family groups ar 
ranged by that method of scientific classification 
adopted by the International Botanical Congress 
which has now superseded all others, combine to 
make "Nature's Garden" an indispensable guide. 

GROSSET & DUNLAP, - NEW YORK 



BOOKS ON GARDENING AND FARMING 

THREE ACRES AND LIBERTY. By Bolton Hall. 
Shows the value gained by intensive culture. Should be 
in the hands of every landholder. Profusely illustrated, 
lamo. Cloth, 75 cents. 

Every chapter in the book has been revised by a specialist The 
author clearly brings out the full value that is to be derived from in 
tensive culture and intelligent methods given to small land holdings. 
Given untrammelled opportunity, agriculture will not only care well 
for itself and for those intelligently engaged in it, but it will give 
stability to all other industries and pursuits. (From the Preface.) 
" The author piles fact upon authenticated instance and successful 
experiment upon proved example, until there is no doubt what can. 
be done with land intensively treated. He shows where th land 
may be found, what kind we must have, what it will cost, and -what 
to do with it. It is seldom we find so much enthusiasm tempered 
by so much experience and common sense. The book points out in 
a practical way the possiblities of a very small farm intensively cul 
tivated. It embodies the results of actual experience and it is in 
tended to be workable in every detail." Providence Journal, 

NEW CREATIONS IN PLANT LIFE. By W. S. Har- 

wood and Luther Burbank. An Authoritative Account 

of the Work of Luther Burbank. With 48 fu'i-page 

half-tone plates. i2mo. Cloth, 75 cents. 

Mr. Burbank has produced more new forms of plant life than any 

other man who has ever lived. These have been either for the 

adornment of the world, such as new and improved flowers, or for 

the enrichment of the world, such as new and improved fruits, nuts, 

vegetables, grasses, trees and the like. This volume describes his 

life and work in detail, presenting a clear statement of his methods, 

showing how others may follow the same lines, and introducing much 

never before made public. " Luther Burbank is unquestionably the 

greatest student of human life and philosophy of living things in 

America, if not in the world." S. H. Comings, Cor. Sec. American 

League of Industrial Education. 

A WOMAN'S HARDY GARDEN. By Helena Rutherfurd 

Ely. Superbly illustrated with 49 full-page halftone en 
gravings from photographs by Prof. C. F. Chandler. 
i2mo. Cloth. 

" Mrs. Ely is the wisest and most winsome teacher of the fascinat 
ing art of gardening that we have met in modern print. * . * 
book to be welcomed with enthusiasm." New York Tribune. "Let 
us sigh with gratitude and read the volume with delight. For here 
it all is : What we should plant, and when we shonld plant it; how 
to care for it after it is planted and growing; what to do if it does 
not grow and blossom ; what will blossom, and when it will blossom, 
and what the blossom will be. It is full of garden lore ; of the spirit 
of happy out-door life. A good and wholesome book. The Dial. 

GROSSET & DUNLAP, NEW YORK 



DATE DUE 



SEP 8 



981 



-ILITY 



GAYLORD 



"HINTED IN U.S A.